Dallas County jail reports two inmate deaths in August

State officials are reviewing the recent deaths. The jail has reported nine inmate deaths this year

Dallas Morning News

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department says two jail inmates died in August at a time when the state has been keeping a close eye on the lockup as it hovers close to capacity.

A 66-year-old died Aug. 7 and a 41-year-old died Aug. 9, according to records the department filed with the Attorney General’s Office on Aug. 25. One of the deaths was reported to be of natural causes while the cause of the second is yet to be determined.

Dallas County has reported a total of nine inmate deaths to the state this year.

State officials are reviewing the recent deaths and working with the county to keep the jail in compliance as its population remains within 5% of capacity. Dallas County reported its jail to be at 95% capacity on Friday after reaching up to 98% capacity in recent weeks. County officials are looking for options to contract with another county jail for bed space.

Claude Joiner, 66, was arrested June 21 on a probation/parole violation, the county report to the state said. He was taken to the Parkland Memorial Hospital on July 27. The report said that his medical cause of death was liver cancer. He died Aug. 7 at the hospital.

Charles Thomas, 41, was arrested and placed into jail May 31. Thomas was accused of assaulting an officer, criminal mischief valued between $50 and $500, and unauthorized use of a vehicle, the report said.

On Aug. 9, guards were doing rounds and found Thomas unresponsive. First responders arrived 30 minutes later, pronounced him dead and did not transport due to “signs of death (post-mortem lividity/rigor mortis),” the county report said. The autopsy is still pending.

Sheriff Department spokesperson Jasmyn Carter told The Dallas Morning News that there have been no heat-related deaths at the county jail, but did not respond to further questions on the August deaths.

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