Prison Inmate Dies After Fight With Other Inmates

| by Jonathan Constante

A prison inmate in Georgia died following a fight with other inmates in the facility.

Humberto Hernandez, 41, was pronounced dead while being taken to an airfield so he could be transported to a nearby hospital, WMAZ reported.

According to the state Department of Corrections, Hernandez had gotten into a fight with other inmates inside the prison dorms at Telfair State Prison. Department spokeswoman Jeal Salter could not reveal any details on the injuries Hernandez sustained, or whether a weapon was used.

An autopsy is being conducted on Hernandez to determine an official cause of death.

Hernandez was convicted of murder in Cobb County, Georgia, but his sentence did allow the possibility of parole, according to the department. Salter said his death is still under investigation, and could give no further information.

The Department of Corrections report on Hernandez's death lists five prison staff members and two other inmates as being "directly involved." The report added that discipline has been filed against one of the two inmates, but Salter did not comment on that.

According to the Department of Justice, about four inmates a year died from homicide in Georgia state prison from 2001-2014. The state ranks fourth-highest in the country.

The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that the number of inmates who died in state prisons and local jails has been on the rise for some time, CBS News reported. The number rose for a third year in a row in 2013.

A total of 4,446 inmate deaths occurred in 2013, the highest since the agency began documenting deaths in 2007. The number was 131 deaths higher than the previous year.

About 34 percent of the inmate deaths in 2013 were due to suicide, according to the report. Suicide has been the leading cause of death for inmates every year since the year 2000.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics also noted the increasing number of older inmates has played a factor in the rise of deaths among inmates.

"In state prisons, the percentage of decedents age 55 or older has increased by an average of 5 percent annually since 2001," the reported stated. "By 2013, more than half (57 percent) of prisoner deaths were of inmates age 55 or older," researchers note in the report.

Almost one-fourth of all inmate deaths occurred in California and Texas, according to the report, while 80 percent of state prisons and local jails across the nation reported zero deaths.

Sources: WMAZ, CBS News / Photo credit: Neil Conway/Flickr

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