A Daytona Beach inmate was found dead in her Volusia County Branch Jail
cell back in May, and drug withdrawal was determined to be the cause.
The county’s drug detox procedures are once again being investigated,
as this is the second detox-related death in the jail in recent years.
The county is facing legal action for failing to provide adequate care
for inmates withdrawing from drugs and alcohol.
The woman died 2 days after being booked on misdemeanor prostitution charges.
The medical examiner stated that the cause was opiate withdrawal, which
includes painkillers such as oxycodone and heroin. According to a toxicology
report, she was found to have cocaine and Valium in her system. The woman’s
family has sued the county.
County officials claim they followed proper procedure prior to the woman’s
death. On her intake sheet, the woman reported that she never did drugs
or drank alcohol, and had never experienced drug withdrawal. Because of
this, she was placed in the general prison population. But the woman’s
family members argue that because of the woman’s history of drug
abuse and drug charges, the jail officials should have known better.
U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron said that no policies were violated,
but that the county needs to examine what can be done going forward to
prevent additional deaths. “We are looking at ways we could do some
additional careening to determine if an inmate has a history of substance
abuse. We don’t take any inmate death lightly,” he said.