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Activists demand accountability, transparency after another inmate death at Milwaukee County Jail

Octaviano Juarez-Corro, 49, was found unresponsive in his cell Sunday morning and could not be revived despite lifesaving measures.
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Posted at 5:09 PM, Jan 24, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Community organizers announced their demands for change after another inmate died in the Milwaukee County Jail on Sunday.

Octaviano Juarez-Corro, 49, was found unresponsive in his cell Sunday morning and could not be revived despite lifesaving measures, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office. The incident is being investigated by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

Octaviano Juarez-Corro
Octaviano Juarez-Corro

On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (MAARPR) issued a statement noting that Juarez-Corro's death is part of a troubling trend of inmate deaths at the same jail. MAARPR called for changes to promote accountability and transparency.

The alliance demanded: full transparency in the investigation of Milwaukee County Jail deaths, officials release names of people involved within 24 hours and related videos within 48 hours, as well as the creation of an elected civilian police accountability council.

"We work with families that have lost loved ones in the jail. They all seem to say the same thing is that they're left in the dark. They don't know what happened to their family members. We just want to make sure that people don't have to feel that way and the only way to do that is to be fully transparent with what occurs when this stuff happens, what the investigation is like, what the process is like," said Omar Flores, finance chair with MAARPR.

Following this latest inmate date, Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Felesia Martin said full transparency is paramount but would not comment specifically on the case citing the pending investigation. Martin added that people in the county's care need to be treated with respect and care.

"We too anxiously await the outcome of that investigation. Maybe we'll go do some more deep dive after this investigation has reached its conclusion and the sheriff's office has released the findings of that investigation. We want to review our processes," Supervisor Martin said.

Supervisor Ryan Clancy is drafting a resolution for an audit of the Milwaukee County Jail conditions with a focus on suicide prevention.

"We need much more transparency, the idea that as the chair of judiciary, I have to hear about deaths in the jail first from folks in there through their advocates. Secondly, through the media, and third through the sheriff themselves is ridiculous," Supervisor Clancy explained.

TMJ4 News reached out to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office for a comment but did not hear back.

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