An inmate at the Waukesha County Jail died yesterday. The cause of the death is unknown. Our thoughts are with the family.

At about 4:00 a.m. this morning, the police and first responders arrived at the Waukesha County Jail. Upon arrival, the found the inmate, a female, with no pulse and not breathing. Why did this 53-year-old woman die? She was arrested the day before during a traffic stop.

Tragically, each year hundreds of inmates at local jails die, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), a component of the Office of Justice Programs in the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 2000 BJS has administered the Deaths in Custody Reporting Program since 2000.  The most recent data is from 2012, when 958 deaths in local jails were reported. “More than a third of deaths in local jails occurred within 7 days of admission,” according to BJS.

The causes of death vary. For the family’s sake, we hope the autopsy on the woman in Waukesha, Wisconsin, clearly and definitively establishes the cause of death.

Attorneys Fred Pritzker and Eric Hageman of our law firm represents inmates and their families in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death and civil rights violations at jails and prisons.  They have a national practice in this area. Most of their cases involve failure to provide medical care in a jail or prison.

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