An investigation is underway at the Larry Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. Investigators from the facility and the Central Homicide Unit are looking into the death of a male inmate who may have been beaten to death.
The white male inmate was reportedly found inside his cell suffering from what the coroner described as traumatic injuries just after 3 p.m. on Saturday. Deputies had responded to a call from a housing unit and found the inmate unresponsive in his cell. Although the deputies and medical staff attempted life-saving measures—the inmate was pronounced dead on the scene.
Last year, a report by Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), a broad-based coalition of over 70 organizations seeking to stop prison and jail expansion, reduce the number of people incarcerated and invest in communities, reported that statewide, the number of deaths in the custody of sheriff departments has risen 65 percent, and that the excessive use of force and high levels of violence continue to prevail in county jails. According to the report, between 2000-2014 there were 82 in custody deaths in Riverside County facilities alone.
The Voice will continue to follow this story.