One dead. One hospitalized. One week.
Per reports, that’s what happened in the last week to two inmates at the Erie County Holding Center.
“I would like to see people having their rights when they get to the holding center to actually be able to make a phone call. Sometimes, that gets taken away from people,” said advocate Christian Parra.
Parra says he knows Erie County Holding Center treatment firsthand, having been taken there years ago.
“I was not able to call anybody. Next thing I knew I was being sent to the Wende facility because there was no more space in the holding center,” said Parra.
In the most recent cases, the inmate death statement showed: the first inmate complained of having health issues on July 23. The next day, a deputy found the inmate on the floor unresponsive. The inmate underwent surgery, but died on July 26.
On Wednesday, the report stated another inmate became unresponsive in the infirmary and was taken to Buffalo General Medical Center, where he or she remains in critical condition.
“The person's that in charge of the Erie County Holding Center is the person who should be held accountable,” said Parra.
The Erie County Sheriff's Office has yet to comment specifically on either case.
“This has been an ongoing thing. Not to lay blame anywhere, but this has been an ongoing thing,” Howard Johnson, Erie County legislator for District 1.
Johnson, a supporter of the corrections advisory board that was recently signed into law, says the administration and sheriff’s office needs to be looked into — to get perspective.
“This is the reason why the legislatures are asking for oversight with the corrections advisory board and body cameras, for incidents like this, so there are no questions,” said Johnson.
The New York State Commission of Correction did confirm to Spectrum News that the inmate's death was reported within six hours of and an investigation is underway.