On January 14th, a 41 year old man named Mario A. Garcia was found dead in his cell in LCS Corrections' Brooks County jail, leaving behind a widow and 10 year old son. Garcia had only been in jail a couple weeks after pleading guilty to charges of bid-rigging on December 31st, 2008 while working with the Corpus Christi Army Depot. Despite his detention, Garcia was never formally sentenced prior to his death.
Before his processing into the jail, Garcia had a documented health condition that required he take antidepressants and seizure medication. Because of this medical condition, Garcia was not allowed to live freely outside of prison before his sentencing (as most inmates serving time for similar crimes are allowed to do) for fear that he might kill himself. However, once imprisoned, Garcia was not given access to his medication, and a seizure is the major side effect of the medications if withheld.
On July 23rd, Garcia's family filed a lawsuit against LCS Corrections, according to an article in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times ("Family sues private prison for inmate's death in Brooks County," July 23rd):
"The lawsuit claims [Garcia] was denied access to medication, despite warnings from family members about his condition. An autopsy by the Nueces County medical examiner found that Garcia died of the seizure disorder. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. It names prison owner LCS Correction Services, the prison’s former warden and former doctor as defendants."
Not only does LCS have this looming lawsuit on their hands, they also just went through a period of laying off prison employees shortly after the time of Garcia's death in their Coastal Bend Detention Center in Robstown, TX. The CBDC had just opened in November of 2008, but by January 2009 LCS had to lay off 40 prison guards due to financial troubles. The facility would not be fully staffed again until March of 2009. It is not clear whether or not Garcia's death contributed to the cause of the LCS layoffs in Robstown, TX but the correlations show it could be a possibility.
We will do our best to follow this lawsuit and its consequences for LCS Corrections. Meanwhile, feel free to take a closer look at LCS Corrections.