About this project

Of the 51 jail deaths so far reported in Northern Utah since 2005, more than half were a result of suicide. (Updated Jan. 12, 2018)
The second largest cause of death fell under an umbrella of illnesses or natural causes.
Those deaths could include: heart disease, cancer, liver disease, respiratory disease, or other, according to the 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.

Do you have a story to share about jail deaths in Utah? Contact us.
Newsroom main: (801) 625-4225 • cityed@standard.net
Or contact our reporter
Mark Shenefelt at mshenefelt@standard.net

Report a jail death:
State law does not require jails to report an in-custody death to the public. Sometimes jails choose to send out press releases, but that's not typically the case. If you know someone who has died in a Utah jail, contact the Standard-Examiner at cityed@standard.net with a name of the deceased and the name of the jail where they were in custody.

Requesting an autopsy:
An autopsy report is an official record of a medical examiner's findings during a post-mortem examination. That typically includes information on cause of death and details about the condition of the body as it relates to the factors around death.

In Utah, an autopsy report can only be released to immediate family members and legal representatives. The report is not automatically released to family — it needs to be requested and approved by the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.

An Immediate family member is defined as a "surviving spouse, child, natural or adoptive parent, any full or half sibling, and any child aged 18 or older," according to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner website. There is no time limit to when a record can be requested.