The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Sean Levert’s death in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County jail in March may have been avoided had he been incarcerated in either of Ohio’s two other major urban-county jails.
Officials at the Franklin and Hamilton county jails said their facilities have policies that would not have denied the R&B singer his doctor-prescribed anxiety medication, as staff at the Cuyahoga County Jail did during what became the last six days of life.
A county coroner’s report concluded that Levert’s withdrawal symptoms from the drug Xanax contributed to the complications that stopped his heart on March 30. Levert was waiting for a doctor’s evaluation to decide if he should be allowed the medicine. The visit was scheduled for April 8.
“If he had been in our jail and Xanax was on the formulary – if it was a standard-issue drug – he would have seen a doctor who would prescribe it,” said Mark Barrett, chief deputy for jail administration in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.