Local News
August 31, 2016

State investigating death of Rutland jail inmate

By Adam Federman, VTDigger.org
RUTLAND — An inmate of the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility in Rutland died Tuesday, Aug. 23, five days after being hospitalized, according to a Corrections Department official.
Mike Touchette, the department’s director of correctional facilities, said inmate Scott Clark experienced a “medical emergency” and was transferred to Rutland Regional Medical Center on Aug. 18. That same day he was taken by ambulance to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and died five days later, Touchette said.
Rick Adams, a spokesman for Dartmouth-Hitchcock, said the hospital is not authorized to release any information or even acknowledge that Clark had been a patient.
The Department of Corrections was updated on Clark’s status before his death, Touchette said. In addition, he said it is general policy to notify a contact person identified by the inmate whenever there is a life-threatening or serious medical issue. In this case, Touchette said, the Department of Corrections contacted someone on the morning of Aug. 19. The department would not disclose any information about the cause of death.
The department is required to carry out an internal review. The Defender General’s Office also will conduct an independent investigation. According to Touchette, the medical examiner in New Hampshire has the authority to order an autopsy.
Defender General Matthew Valerio said it can take anywhere from 60 days to six months for a coroner’s report to be completed. Toxicology reports also have to be ordered and Clark’s prior medical records reviewed.
“Oftentimes the coroner’s report will put us on to something that wouldn’t be apparent on its face,” Valerio said.
At present Valerio said his office had no information on the case. “It’s a blank slate,” he said. “There’s nothing right now that leads me to believe anything one way or the other.”
Clark was serving nine to 43 months for a series of crimes including grand larceny and trespassing. According to Touchette, Marble Valley has received accreditation from the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, which evaluates the adequacy of prison health care systems. The most recent inspection was sometime within the last year.

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