Criminal Justice

A woman died in the Harris County Jail, marking the facility’s 15th reported death this year

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office 50-year-old Dominga Barrera Trevino died after suffering from an apparent medical emergency in the jail’s clinic.

Harris County Jail
Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media
Harris County Jail in downtown Houston, on April 12, 2021.

A woman died on Monday after suffering from an apparent medical emergency while in custody at the Harris County Jail, marking the 15th reported death this year.

Court records say 50-year-old Dominga Barrera Trevino was booked into the jail on June 29 after being charged with assaulting a security officer. According to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, detention officers were notified that Trevino was suffering from a medical emergency in a medical ward of the jail on Monday. She was pronounced dead in the jail clinic at around 10:32 p.m.

The sheriff's office says Trevino’s death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers and her cause of death will be determined by an autopsy conducted by the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Trevino is the 15th person to reportedly die while in custody at the Harris County Jail this year. This comes two weeks after a man died due to complications related to a terminal illness while in custody at the jail. Last year, at least 27 people died while in custody at the Harris County Jail — the highest number in nearly two decades, according to county records and data from Texas Justice Initiative.

Last month, county officials approved a 12% salary increase for detention officers working inside the jail in an effort to reduce turnover and understaffing within the overcrowded facility. As of Monday, there were 9,518 people in the jail and 1,347 people were being outsourced to other facilities.