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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Metro Police are looking into seven suspicious deaths this year at Metro Corrections. All of the inmates died while in custody at corrections.
"What we were told was that another inmate that was in with him called for help and said that he didn't look right," says Margaret Hare, whose brother died in custody.
In February, Arthur McCarty was found unresponsive in a cell at Metro Corrections.
Hare says, "All we know from that point is that they took him to the hospital and they declared him dead when he got to the hospital."
McCarty's family is now looking for answers about his death. "So, we don't know if he actually died at the jail or if he died at the hospital," says Hare.
McCarty is one of seven inmates who have died in custody at Metro Corrections this year. The others include, James Henson, Savannah Sparks, Thomas Bernard, Lakenya Porter, Samantha George and Kenneth Cross. That's compared to just one in custody death last year.
Mark Bolton is director at Metro Corrections. Bolton says, "Well, I think that is a lot. When you look at our numbers for last year by comparison. There's no question that this is a huge concern for us."
Bolton says the jail admits about 45,000 inmates a year, and many of them are chronic substance abusers and have preexisting conditions.
"And those are the challenges that we are faced with medically is treating those preexisting conditions...exacerbated by long-term substance abuse, drugs and alcohol," says Bolton.
The jail does have healthcare programs in place, but Bolton says it's under review. "In ensuring that we have the resources here to adequately treat those individuals that are detoxing is my responsibility. I think we're doing that. I think that we have to review our protocols and if we need to make changes we will."
Meanwhile, Hare says her brother needed help. "He was very sick."
Hare says McCarty suffered from alcoholism, but she still has questions about his death.
"Did they do CPR, did they know that he was sick? We don't know any of that," says Hare.
Bolton says they have brought in an outside consulting firm to look at protocol at metro corrections. He is also bringing in a detox nurse. She will specifically deal with inmates who come in high or intoxicated.