© 2006

Sudden Deaths in Custody

  • Darrell L. Ross
  • Theodore C. Chan

Part of the Forensic Science and Medicine book series (FSM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Darrell L. Ross
    Pages 1-8
  3. Theodore C. Chan
    Pages 9-14
  4. Gary M. Vilke
    Pages 15-37
  5. Tom Neuman
    Pages 39-57
  6. Elizabeth A. Laposata
    Pages 59-80
  7. Aaron B. Schneir, Richard F. Clark
    Pages 81-97
  8. Charles V. Wetli
    Pages 99-112
  9. Christian Sloane, Gary M. Vilke
    Pages 113-138
  10. Vincent Di Miao
    Pages 167-172
  11. Darrell L. Ross
    Pages 173-202
  12. Darrell L. Ross
    Pages 203-228
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 229-233

About this book


Sudden custodial deaths in the wake of violent restraint encounters have emerged as a critical issue for police, correctional, and medical care workers around the world. In Sudden Deaths in Custody, leading researchers and experts review the medical, legal, psychological, and administrative aspects of violent restraint encounters and offer insights into controlling such incidents. The authors assess the medical considerations in such cases, including how the stress of an encounter may influence the physiological responses of the subject, how chemical substances may affect the behavior of and contribute to the death of the person in custody, and offer an explanation of the role of excited delirium. The authors also address the use of force involving neck holds, restraints, aerosols, tasers, and other physical restraints. Numerous examples illustrate the nature and problems associated with sudden in-custody restraint deaths, along with a survey of the issues involved in performing a custodial death investigation and the legal question of civil liability. The authors also discuss risk management strategies, policy and procedure concerns, training issues, subject monitoring, prisoner transportation, officer incident reporting, and investigating an incident from an agency perspective.
Comprehensive and authoritative, Sudden Deaths in Custody illuminates the many facets of sudden in-custody deaths to better prepare police officers, administrators, investigators, and medical personnel for such events and the frequent civil lawsuits claiming wrongful death.


chemical substance delirium physiological response police sudden death sudden in-custody death taser

Editors and affiliations

  • Darrell L. Ross
    • 1
  • Theodore C. Chan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Criminal JusticeEast Carolina UniversityGreenville
  2. 2.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan Diego

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Sudden Deaths in Custody
  • Editors Darrell L. Ross
    Ted Chan
  • Series Title Forensic Science and Medicine
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Humana Press Inc. 2006
  • Publisher Name Humana Press
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-58829-475-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-61737-591-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-59745-015-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages X, 234
  • Number of Illustrations 20 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Forensic Medicine
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors


From the reviews:

"The monograph Sudden Deaths in Custody … addresses all relevant aspects in this field. … The two introductory chapters give an overview of the nature of sudden in-custody death and a medical review. … very well written and well referenced, and contains a huge wealth of information. … highly recommended to all dealing with sudden deaths in custody, especially police officers, forensic pathologists, administrators, investigators, medical personnel, and would be useful in civil law suits claiming wrongful death. The text is really authoritative." (B. Madea, Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, Issue (4), 2008)