On Thursday morning, Oct. 20, an inmate being held in the large Guilford County jail in downtown Greensboro died at the hospital after being found unresponsive in his cell.

According to a report from the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department – which runs Guilford County’s two jails – the inmate suffered a “medical emergency.”

At 7:15 a.m., a detention officer on a supervision round, found 58-year-old Warren Broadhurst, “unresponsive.”

The department stated that, during “the immediately preceding supervision round conducted by Detention Staff, Mr. Broadhurst had shown no signs of distress.”

Broadhurst, who was booked into the Greensboro Detention Center on Friday, Oct. 14, lived at 617 Ross Ave. in Greensboro.

A press report sent to the local media states. “Guilford County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officers began performing life-saving measures until Guilford County Emergency Services arrived and assumed care of Mr. Broadhurst. Guilford County Emergency Services were able to revive Mr. Broadhurst to the point he was breathing on his own when he left the facility. Later that same day, at approximately 4:15 p.m., however, Mr. Broadhurst succumbed to his ailments at Moses Cone Hospital. His next-of-kin have been notified.”

At the time that he was admitted to Cone Hospital, he was suffering from significant, pre-existing, chronic health issues.

The department’s statement also notes that there was no apparent external trauma to Broadhurst – however, it added that an autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

The Sheriff’s Department stated that it would conduct an internal investigation as well as a criminal investigation – as called for by department policy

The department also stated that there’s no additional information to be provided at this time.

State and local officials in recent years have been alarmed at the number of deaths in North Carolina jails due to drug use, COVID-19, other medical issues, violence and other factors.

In 2020, for instance, there were a record number of 56 deaths in North Carolina jails, despite the fact that many counties, including Guilford County, had greatly reduced their inmate populations due to the pandemic. That year, 32 inmate deaths were found to be related to suicide or substance use, an increase from previous years.

For comparison, 30 people died from suicide or substance use in the state’s jails in 2019.  There were 22 in 2018.

County jails are notoriously unsafe and unhealthy places.  In Guilford County’s Greensboro jail this summer, jail staff had to move many inmates out of certain cell blocks because of a major mold problem.

Also, massive and continual detention officer vacancies in the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department make supervision of the inmate more difficult.