Inmate's death could have been prevented

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 - 4:10 pm

Re “Pepper-sprayed inmate's death: Was it suicide?” (Page A1, Jan. 22): In my opinion, the correctional staff at Mule Creek State Prison are completely responsible for the demise of inmate Joseph Duran. They made the decision to pepper spray this emotionally disturbed inmate, but then they did not immediately go in to subdue, extricate and administer first aid to him. It’s also unconscionable that after administering pepper spray and observing this inmate stuffing food into his stoma, the correctional staff had no sense of urgency. When I was a correctional officer in the early 1880s, “cell extrication” meant first discussing a plan, arming ourselves with mattress, shackles or handcuffs, and then going in to bring the unwilling inmate out. Nobody stepped up for this inmate – and now he's dead. I am in agreement with the family on this one.

-- Shana Haynie, Cameron Park

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