Another Person Has Died in Multnomah County Jail

This is the sixth death in three months, a number unprecedented in recent history.

Another inmate has died in Multnomah Custody, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office confirmed to WW this morning in response to an inquiry.

The inmate was discovered unresponsive in their cell in the county’s downtown jail yesterday at 4:15 pm and was pronounced dead later that night. The inmate’s identity has not been released. The office has begun an investigation.

This is the sixth death of an inmate in Multnomah County since the beginning of May. There had been only four deaths in an entire calendar year since 2010, WW reported last month.

The county has struggled to fully staff its jails in recent years as it confronts a rise in mental illness and drug use among inmates.

“Jails are a microcosm of society, reflecting trends we see and feel across the region and country,” Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell said last month following the death of Josiah Gaylfor Pierce on July 19. She pointed to “a lack of preventative health care access prior to incarceration, the presence of chronic illnesses, substance abuse issues, mental illnesses, and other socio-economic factors.”

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