Davidson News

Davidson News

Two Inmates in Dallas County Jail Died Amid Capacity Concerns

The unfortunate deaths of two inmates in the Dallas County jail in August, highlighting the broader concerns about jail capacity and the need for thorough investigations into the circumstances surrounding these deaths.

The recent deaths of two inmates in the Dallas County jail during the month of August. (Photo: The Dallas Morning News)

Inmate Deaths Raise Concerns in Dallas County Jail

NBCDFW – The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department has reported the unfortunate passing of two inmates in the month of August. These incidents have come to light at a time when the state has been closely monitoring the county’s jail, which is teetering on the edge of reaching full capacity. The loss of a 66-year-old inmate on August 7 and a 41-year-old inmate on August 9 has raised concerns, with one of the deaths attributed to natural causes while the exact cause of the second remains under investigation.

This year alone, Dallas County jail has reported a total of nine inmate deaths to state authorities, prompting a comprehensive review of these recent fatalities. State officials are collaborating with the county to ensure the jail remains compliant with regulations, particularly as its inmate population hovers within 5% of its capacity. As of the latest data, the Dallas County jail was reported to be at 95% capacity, having reached as high as 98% in recent weeks. County authorities are actively exploring options to contract additional bed space from neighboring county jails.

One of the unfortunate individuals, Claude Joiner, aged 66, had been arrested on June 21 for a probation/parole violation. After a month in custody, Joiner was transferred to Parkland Memorial Hospital on July 27, where it was determined that he was battling liver cancer. Tragically, he succumbed to his illness on August 7 while still at the hospital.

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Inmate Charles Thomas’s Death in Dallas County Jail

According to the article of The Dallas Morning News, the second inmate, Charles Thomas, aged 41, was incarcerated on May 31 on charges of assaulting an officer, criminal mischief valued between $50 and $500, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. On the fateful morning of August 9, correctional officers conducting their rounds discovered Thomas unresponsive in his cell. Medical responders arrived 30 minutes later but, sadly, had to pronounce him dead on the scene, citing “signs of death (post-mortem lividity/rigor mortis).”

The exact cause of Thomas’s death is pending autopsy results.

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