State investigation underway after inmate death in Monroe County Jail

A state investigation is continuing following the death of a Monroe County Jail inmate in September, Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said Wednesday. (WHAM photo - Aug. 2017 file)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A state investigation is continuing following the death of a Monroe County Jail inmate in September, Monroe County Sheriff Todd Baxter said Wednesday.

The inmate who died was found unresponsive shortly before 3 p.m. on September 4 when two deputies were checking cells in the jail. The deputies immediately entered the cell, gave her first aid and CPR and called the Rochester Fire Department and AMR ambulance personnel. After nearly 40 minutes of combined CPR, a pulse was restored and the inmate was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital.

On the evening of September 5, the inmate was pronounced dead.

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs investigation and New York State Commission of Corrections investigation wereinitiated the same day that the inmate was found. After several months of investigating, the internal affairs report determined that a deputy conducted two consecutive rounds that were incomplete on the 4th floor of the jail where the inmate was incarcerated.

When rounds are incomplete, procedures are in place for deputies to follow. However, the investigation determined that two electronic indicators were activated that alerted deputies to the incomplete rounds. The proper follow-up protocols were not followed, however. These practices and procedures have been reinforced, tested, and communicated to the entire jail staff since that time.

Sheriff Baxter met and consulted with the inmate’s family Wednesday morning and shared the results of the investigation. He had previously met with them on the day she died.

He also imposed what he referred to as "significant discipline, including demotion." Further details were not disclosed.

The New York State Commission of Corrections investigation is ongoing.

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