Several drug overdoses reported at Valley Street Jail including 1 death

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AMR transporting someone from Valley Street Jail Monday after a report of several drug overdoses among female inmates. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

MANCHESTER, NH – Valley Street Jail on Monday conducted a “targeted contraband sweep” following overdoses involving four to five female inmates, including one death Sunday. 

Jessica Cook, 40, no known home address, was pronounced dead at the scene after AMR personnel were unable to revive her. They were called for an emergency at the jail on June 18 at 10:55 p.m.

According to a press release issued Monday about Ms. Cook’s death, jail staff performed life-saving measures prior to the arrival of AMR. Ms. Cook’s emergency contact was notified. She had been in custody since June 15 on “failure to appear” charges.

The sweeps conducted on Monday were “an immediate response to suspected overdose incidents involving 4 to 5 inmates in the female housing unit,” according to a statement issued by Hillsborough County Department of Corrections, saying drugs had been illegally smuggled into the facility. 

Superintendent Joseph Costanzo ordered the rapid deployment of the facility canine and correctional staff to search and sweep targeted areas in an effort to ensure the safety of inmates.

As the investigation continues, I would like to thank Corrections and Medical staff, for their swift and rapid response in identifying individuals in need of immediate assistance. I also want to acknowledge the efforts of the department’s canine unit,” Costanzo said.

Costanzo also thanked the Manchester Police Department for providing insight on the deadly drugs currently being seen in the community and cautioned those incarcerated against the use of those drugs, noting his concern with saving lives in the facility.

The investigation is ongoing. 


About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!