An incarcerated man at St. Clair Correctional Facility died last Tuesday, according to a spokesperson from the Alabama Department of Corrections.
Jerome Vincent Berard, a 62-year-old incarcerated man at the St. Clair County facility, was found unresponsive in his cell on Tuesday, the spokesperson said. Medical staff later arrived and began life-saving measures, which were unsuccessful, and he was later pronounced deceased.
Like all cases of death in state prisons, the ADOC’s Law Enforcement Services Division is investigating the circumstances surrounding Berard’s death, with an official autopsy pending.
A source within the corrections system told APR that Berard’s death was an overdose and that he is one of six overdoses that occurred last week in the St. Clair County facility. Another incarcerated man is said to have died of an overdose on Friday, according to the source.
The ADOC has not confirmed these allegations.
According to the latest statistics and previous statements from the ADOC, at least 22 incarcerated individuals have died in the facility since June of 2021.
Earlier in September, an incarcerated man died in hospice care at the St. Clair County facility. Charles Eugene Fortenberry, 74, was “observed in respiratory distress” by health care staff on Sept. 4, and after life-saving measures were performed, Fortenberry succumbed and was pronounced deceased later that day.
The facility is designed to hold 984 individuals, with its current month’s end population at 1,057, according to population data from the ADOC.