Report says 44 percent of deaths in Orange County jails could have been avoided

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A grand jury report released Monday suggests almost half of recent jail deaths may have been prevented if the jails recognized mental or physical illness.

The report estimated that 44 percent of in-custody deaths in Orange County's jails could have been avoided.

The one-year study looked at 34 deaths in Orange County jails from 2014 through 2017. Of those, 14 deaths were due to natural causes such as cancer, liver or heath disease or stroke, the grand jury reported.

The study concluded 15 people may still be alive were it not for delays in treatment, as well as failure to identify health risks, diagnose serious mental illness or refer patients to doctors.

One inmate committed suicide and another was killed, the grand jury reported. In three cases, the cause of death was undetermined.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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