Suffering through substance withdrawal is a major problem for the majority of individuals in custody, yet there are no guidelines or standards to ensure their safety. Instead, individuals in custody are having their Constitutional rights violated and many die at the hands of the justice system. When their families seek accountability for the lack of adequate care provided by correctional facilities and employees, families are faced with a lack of consistency from one circuit to the next for knowing as to the correct standard to have a successful claim. Strain v. Regalado was a chance for the Supreme Court to address this issue, but by denying cert in that case, the Court has signed off on the injustice these individuals face. This note proposed having the subjective prong for the deliberate indifference claim for inadequate medical care for withdrawal for individuals in custody presumed. Allowing the subjective prong to be presumed better aligns with the reality of this issue because correctional officers see many inmates suffering withdrawal and the symptoms which indicate the need for medical intervention are similar to those that would indicate a medical need in any other situation. Additionally, correctional officers are purportedly held to a higher standard. This note then proposed a federal standard for claims and medical care. These are both basic rights in the United States, unless and until a person is in custody.
Dorothea R. Carleton,
Death by Detox: Substance Withdrawal, a Possible Death Row for Individuals in Custody,
36 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol36/iss2/7