A 32-year-old inmate died Saturday afternoon at the Cumberland County Jail, according to jail authorities.

During a routine round of checks on cells that took place around 2 p.m., one of the correctional officers at the Portland jail discovered an inmate unresponsive in a cell.

The officer called for assistance. Life-saving measures were taken, with the officer joined by jail medical staff and Portland emergency medical services, but efforts to revive the inmate were unsuccessful, Capt. Donald Goulet said. No other details regarding the circumstances of the inmate’s death were provided.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Sunday night that authorities are still in the process of notifying the man’s next of kin. His identity won’t be released publicly until then. But Joyce did confirm that the inmate was a 32-year-old male, who was listed as transient. He was being held at the jail on a warrant for failure to appear.

The cause of the man’s death is being investigated by the Portland Police Department. The Maine Department of Corrections was also notified. In the past, Portland police have investigated all deaths at the county jail. Maine State Police investigate the cause of all inmate deaths that occur in a state or county correctional facility with two exceptions – those that occur in Portland and Bangor.
Last month, a 40-year-old inmate at the Cumberland County Jail attempted suicide, Joyce said. Although the inmate was alive when he left the jail on May 12, he died a few days later in the hospital, according to Joyce.
On Oct. 19. 2020, a corrections officer intervened when he encountered an inmate who had tied a towel around his neck and was suspended from the top bunk in his cell. Thanks to the officer’s quick actions, he was able to get the inmate to safety. The inmate was transported to Maine Medical Center, where he made a full recovery.

The Office of Chief Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death of the inmate who died Saturday.

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