The Nevada Department of Corrections(NDOC) is committed to providing information to the public in a timely and accurate manner. This section of our website contains data and information related to in-custody inmate deaths.
NDOC is responsible for the care and custody of approximately 14,000 inmates in seven major correctional institutions and numerous camps across the state. The Department is dedicated to providing proper supervision for all inmates including access to appropriate levels of health care to meet their needs.
About Inmate Care
Many of our inmates have had little or no regular health care prior to being sentenced to NDOC custody. In addition, many inmates suffer from preexisting conditions related to their substance abuse/addiction and mental health issues as well as chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. From the moment they arrive at one of our intake facilities, each inmate is evaluated by medical, mental health and dental professionals and an individual health care plan is designed to meet their needs. We are committed to providing quality care for each inmate while they are in our custody. This prepares them for participation in evidence based programs, education initiatives and other self-improvement opportunities for successful re-entry into our communities.
Investigations and Autopsies
While the vast majority of inmates will return to our communities, it is a reality some will die in custody. The NDOC has protocols in place to handle these matters professionally and in cooperation with investigations if applicable, while considering inmate and family wishes.
When an in-custody death occurs every effort is made to notify the next of kin as soon as possible. There are times, however, when no family information is available. Once every effort to reach next of kin has been exhausted, the Department will issue a press release informing the public of the general circumstances surrounding any in-custody inmate death.
All in-custody inmate deaths are reviewed by the NDOC’s Inspector General’s Office and they will investigate if necessary. Per NRS 209.3815, an autopsy is scheduled for all in-custody inmate deaths, unless next of kin submits an objection within 72 hours after the death.
The NDOC, as a health care provider, is a covered entity for purposes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), meaning the Department must comply with federal confidentiality requirements. Deceased inmate health information is still protected and not available for release by the NDOC. Cause of death information must be obtained through the county coroner's office.
Below are in-custody death statistics from 2007 to the present. These numbers may not reflect inmate deaths that occur while confined out of state.
NDOC Inmate In-Custody Deaths 2007 to 2018
Click on calendar year to view detail.
* Statistical Information Updates
The information on the current calendar year statistical information regarding inmate in-custody deaths will be updated upon press release and or at the beginning of each month.