By far the most hypothermic deaths come from suicide watch cells. If the jailers think you are suicidal, or you suffer from mental illness, like depression, you are stripped naked and locked into a cold cell. If you want to stay alive you have to convince the shrink you are not suicidal.
With no clothes or blanket you have no defenses from the blowing 45 to 55 degree air. You have no way to stay alive. At those temperatures a human body loses about a degree and a half per hour. Once blood temperature falls below 95 degrees F, deaths start to occur. This gruesome death takes six to nine hours, and is highly painful as the most painful death man can endure, because it takes so many hours of intense pain to die.
This issue came to a head in 2013, when courageous South Carolina State Circuit Judge Michael Baxley ruled in favor of an inmate, Jerome Laudman, tortured to death with hypothermia in a suicide watch cell. The ugly death was splashed in the news with details that would make anyone feel sick.
Judge Baxley ordered South Carolina to make changes in their treatment of the mentally ill, but due to the high cost of compliance, some $30 million dollars, Governor Haley decided to appeal the case rather than stopping killing inmates. This story is ongoing and developing, see the Jerome Laudman Page.
While the Laudman case outlines the extent of the problem in one state, the same story has played out all over our nation.
In 2003 in an Illinois prison, inmate Charles Platcher was stripped naked and locked in suicide watch cold cell - he readily died from hypothermia.
In 2006 in the Miami/Dade, Florida jail, inmate Willie Daniels was confined to the 9th floor psychiatric wing and died from hypothermia.
In 2007 in Christian County, Missouri jail, inmate - Judson Witham was stripped naked in suicide watch cold cell - he survived.
In 2008 in Virginia Beach, VA jail, inmate Charles Trask was stripped naked in suicide watch cold cell for 48 hours, he survived by wrapping his body in toilet paper - he survived.
And the second death in South Carolina, in 2003 in the Columbia jail, inmate Bobby Ray Mott was stripped naked and locked in a suicide watch cold cell - where he readily died from hypothermia.