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.
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:
The Warden/Superintendent or his representative shall notify the Commissioner
of Corrections furnishing whatever information is available at the
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
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.
event of a suicide, accidental death or death under suspicious circumstances,
the following procedures shall be observed:
The medical records of the inmate shall be copied and sent to the Health
Services Unit at Department of Corrections' central office for
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
the death of an inmate, for whatever cause, the Director of the Crime
Laboratory is to be notified.
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
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;
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.
Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 125-2-4-.20
Ga. Constitution 1983,
Art. XI, Sec. I, O.C.G.A. Secs.
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
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.