Utah Jail Deaths Box Elder

April 20, 2017

Investigating jail deaths in Northern Utah

Utah has the most jail deaths per capita in the nation,
according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Weber and Davis counties are among the worst in the state, outstripping even more populous Salt Lake County in death rates, data gathered by the Standard-Examiner shows. The following story archive is the first part of a yearlong effort by the Standard-Examiner to report on the people behind the mugshots and how they died.

Stories by jail

Scroll down to read more about this issue, or select a button below to filter our coverage by jail.

Box Elder man's suicide by poison, death in jail leaves unresolved questions
Sunday, March 26, 2017

BRIGHAM CITY — A man who died while awaiting booking in the Box Elder County Jail had ingested more than 10 times the amount of strychnine necessary to kill a person, investigative reports show.

Box Elder jail inmate's death raises concerns for justice system, not foul play
Tuesday, February 23 2016

BRIGHAM CITY — The death in jail of a Bear River City man who ignored court orders to pay an ambulance bill is drawing more attention from civil rights groups, which say they see American justice returning to a type of debtors’ prison environment.

Case remains open in January 2016 Box Elder County jail death
Thursday, June 02, 2016

BRIGHAM CITY — The death of a Bear River City man remains under investigation four months after he was found unresponsive in a Box Elder County jail cell.

Man who died in Box Elder jail was there for not paying a debt
Monday, February 15, 2016

BRIGHAM CITY — Rex Iverson died in a jail cell shortly after he was taken into custody, but he wasn’t there for a criminal act..

Do you have a story to share about jail deaths in Utah? Contact us.
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Mark Shenefelt and Nadia Pflaum directly at:

Stories on jail policies

Deaths in Utah's county jails support advocates' zero fatalities goal
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Utah’s county jails have elaborate policies aimed at safeguarding sick or suicidal inmates, but a spate of deaths has fostered concerns about a shaky safety net for those who go behind bars.

Jail deaths trigger levels of investigative machinery
Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When someone dies behind bars in Utah, multiple investigations quickly begin. But if the inmate’s passing appears to be medically related, there’s usually no public announcement or news coverage.

New avenues sought for drug detox in Utah jails
Sunday, August 28, 2016

OGDEN — Substance abuse treatment professionals are chipping away at practices in Utah jails they say can force inmates to endure painful and dangerous cold-turkey withdrawals from narcotics addictions.

Suicide Watch: Jails work to help inmates, prevent casualties
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

OGDEN -- Sandy Grattan continues to mourn her brother who died on June 8, 2014 by hanging himself in the Weber County Jail, just a few hours after being booked in.

Utah judge OKs lawsuit over delayed defendant treatment, hospital crowding
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s system of handling mentally ill criminal defendants appears to be failing, a federal judge said in allowing a civil rights lawsuit to proceed against the state.