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50-Year-Old, Joyce Curnell, Died in a Charleston County Jail After Being Refused Water


Joyce Curnell, 50, was arrested for outstanding court fines on July 21. She was found dead in a Charleston County jail cell at 5 p.m. on July 22, the Post and Courier reports.

According to her family's attorneys, Curnell died because she was refused water.

Curnell was taken to a hospital in Edisto Island, South Carolina with complaints of nausea and vomiting. There she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis.
She was discharged from the hospital then arrested for failing to pay $1,148.90 in fines from a 2012 shoplifting charge, though no one in law enforcement has confirmed to the Post and Courier how they were made aware of the warrant.

Authorities did not take Curnell to the jail's medical facility where she could have received adequate care and follow-up. Instead, she was taken to a housing unit where she vomited through the night and could not make it to a bathroom. She was only given a trash bag.

Curnell's family will sue the jail's medical providers for neglecting to tend to her after they knew of her illness. She did not eat during the 27 hours she was jailed. Records show she was not given water or fluids during this time, and she was also too ill to call her family.
“Providing access to reasonable medical care to those under police custody is a necessity, not a privilege,” said Curnell family attorney James Moore III. “It is a constitutional right. We are committed to seeking justice for Joyce and for her family.”

Within three hours of her final check-in from medical staff, she was dead.

Read more at The Post and Courier.

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