Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 125-2-4-.20 - Death and Interment

Current through Rules and Regulations filed through April 4, 2022

When an inmate under the jurisdiction of the State Board of Corrections dies, the following procedures shall be followed:

(a) When an inmate dies from natural causes or causes certifiable by the institutional physician and he has designated a next of kin, the Warden/Superintendent or his representative will notify the next of kin and the Commissioner of Corrections promptly. The next of kin shall be informed as to the location and procedures for claiming the remains. The next of kin and the Commissioner of Corrections shall be furnished copies of a Certificate of Death.
(b) When an inmate dies suddenly or violently, or under unusual circumstances without an attending physician, notwithstanding the presence of witnesses, the following procedures shall be initiated immediately:
1. The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall notify the Commissioner of Corrections furnishing whatever information is available at the time;
2. The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall notify the Coroner of the county in which the death occurs. In those counties which do not have a coroner, the medical examiner shall be notified. In all instances an autopsy will be requested.
3. The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall notify the Director of the State Crime Laboratory;
4. The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall notify the Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or his appointed representative in the district where the death occurs (Special Agent in Charge of District);
(i) In the case of a County Institution, the Sheriff of said County shall also be notified;
5. The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall directly notify the Internal Investigation Section between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays. At all other times the Communications Center at Central Office shall be notified;
6. The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall notify the next of kin;
(c) The body of the deceased inmate shall be released to the next of kin or an agent thereof no later than 24 hours after the demand for release by the next of kin or agent thereof, unless there has been a written finding by the Peace Officer, Medical Examiner, or Coroner that foul play may have been involved in the death or there is a dispute over the legality of release.
(d) In the event of a suicide, accidental death or death under suspicious circumstances, the following procedures shall be observed:
1. The medical records of the inmate shall be copied and sent to the Health Services Unit at Department of Corrections' central office for review.
2. A written report providing the details of the death, the Coroner's or Medical Examiner's report and the other available documentation shall be submitted to the Commissioner of Corrections.
(e) Upon the death of an inmate, for whatever cause, the Director of the Crime Laboratory is to be notified.
(f) On the death of an indigent inmate, interment of such decedent shall be as provided by Georgia Law. The following procedures shall apply:
1. When the deceased inmate and his surviving family and immediate relatives are indigent, and are unable to provide for a decent burial, the governing authority of the county of his death shall furnish from county funds an amount adequate to provide a decent burial or to reimburse whoever may have voluntarily paid for the cost of the funeral. In any event, the distribution of funds to cover such shall be governed by Georgia Law.
2. The family or close relatives of a deceased inmate who claim to be unable to provide for burial of the deceased shall make application to the county governing authority where the death occurred and declare that they are indigent and unable to provide a decent burial for the deceased;
3. In the event the deceased inmate has no family or immediate relatives or no next of kin can be located and the inmate has no funds with which to defray the cost of his funeral, the Warden/Superintendent of the institution where the death occurred shall make application for county funds for burial on behalf of the deceased inmate;
4. When an inmate dies in a State institution, the State Board of Corrections shall reimburse the county governing authority in which county the inmate died, provided expenditures have been made for the burial of the inmate in accordance with the provisions of (b)1., (b)2., and/or (b)3. of this rule. The county governing authority shall not be entitled to reimbursement if the deceased inmate was incarcerated in a county correctional institution or facility at the time of death. Indigent state inmates may be buried at Georgia State Prison by arrangement with the Warden/Superintendent of that institution.
(g) In the absence of the next of kin of the deceased inmate, the Coroner shall take possession of all property of value found on such persons, make an exact inventory thereof on his report, and surrender the property to the person entitled to its custody or possession. The Coroner's inventory shall be signed by the Coroner and the Warden/Superintendent or his representative and shall be made a permanent part of the deceased inmate's file.

Notes

Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 125-2-4-.20
Ga. Constitution 1983, Art. XI, Sec. I, O.C.G.A. Secs. 42-5-55, 45-16-25, 45-16-25.1.
Rule entitled "Death and Interment" adopted as R. 415-2-4-.20. F. Nov. 14, 1984; eff. Dec. 4, 1984, renumbered as R. 125-2-4-.20 of same title. F. June 28, 1985; eff. July 20, 1985, as specified by the Agency. Amended: F. Sept. 6, 1988; eff. Sept. 26, 1988. Amended: F. July 6, 1993; eff. July 26, 1993. Amended: F. Feb. 6, 2003; eff. Feb. 26, 2003.

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