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This website is maintained by the Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a Dallas, Texas law firm representing people across Texas for dog bite injury cases. We have attempted to provide useful information for those harmed by animal attacks.

Posts Tagged ‘jail suicide’

A 26-year-old Prisoner Commits Suicide in Harris County Jail

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

English: Harris County 1910 Courthouse Español...

English: Harris County 1910 Courthouse Español: Palacio de Justicia de 1910 del Condado de Harris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A prisoner died at 12:06 a.m. on Friday, December 1, 2017, in Harris County Jail after hanging himself with a bed sheet. He was a mentally ill prisoner housed in the mental health ward. The records show that he was classified as having serious mental illness on a persistent basis, according to spokesperson for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Jason Spencer. The Texas Rangers will investigate the custodial death; and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards will conduct a jail inspection, as well.

On Thursday night, November 30, the inmate was discovered by a detention officer who had just found that the window to the cell had been covered with a newspaper. The jail’s medical staff attempted to revive the man, and then he was transported via ambulance to St. Joseph’s Medical Center before being pronounced dead a short time later.

This is the second time in 2017 that a prisoner committed suicide in Harris County Jail. In February, Vincent Dwayne Young, age 32, hanged himself with a bed sheet. In his case, it was allegedly found that the HCSO had failed to comply with minimum jail standards. Jailers allegedly failed to have scheduled observation checks on Young, as the state requires.

In recent months, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez implemented measures intended to prevent jail suicides. Jail activists and top jail officials as well as state legislator Senator John Whitmire, D-Houston, have emphasized the seriousness of the situation in which suicides continue to occur in Texas county jails, calling on the removal of items that prisoners commonly use for that purpose. Whitemire is calling for “zero tolerance” of jail suicides.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Smith County Jail, Tyler, Texas, Prisoner Quincy Butler Dies 13 Days After Found Hanging in His Cell

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Smith County, Texas, Courthouse (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

Forty-four-year-old Quincy Butler of New Orleans, Louisiana, was incarcerated at Smith County Jail in Tyler, Texas, when he attempted to commit suicide on November 8, 2017. He was discovered by a detention officer hanging in his cell at about 1:25 p.m. and cut down immediately. Jail staff gave Butler CPR and Emergency Medical Services transported him to a local hospital, where he was placed on life support. He died on November 21, after being removed from life support, which was thirteen days after sustaining injuries from the suicide attempt. An independent investigation into Butler’s death is being conducted by the Texas Rangers. The Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas will conduct an autopsy. In addition, the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) will investigate and conduct an inspection of Smith County Jail, to try to determine whether the jail was following minimum jail standards when the custodial death occurred.

One of the jail standards designed to ensure the welfare of prisoners has to do with required time frames in which to have face-to-face observations of prisoners. In a jail inspection report for Pecos County Jail in Fort Stockton, Texas, released on October 17, 2017, TCJS alleges that a review of documentation revealed that jail staff did not conduct the required 30-minute observations in areas such as where Butler was in, in which prisoners were known to be potentially suicidal, assaultive, mentally ill, or to have demonstrated bizarre behavior.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Quincy Butler Remains in the Hospital After a Suicide Attempt in Smith County Jail in Tyler, Texas

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Smith County, Texas, Courthouse (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

The prisoner who attempted suicide in Smith County Jail in Tyler, Texas, on November 8, 2017, has been identified as 44-year-old Quincy Butler of New Orleans, Louisiana. When he was being booked into the jail, Butler answered questions in a way that put him on suicide watch. Usually, people who are at risk for attempting to kill themselves are not kept alone in a cell. Butler was also deemed to be a danger to others, however, and for that reason was segregated from the other prisoners, according to the sheriff’s office. At about 1:25 p.m. on the 8th, a detention officer discovered Butler hanging inside his cell. He was immediately cut down and given emergency medical attention from jail staff and then Emergency Medical Services and the Tyler Fire Department. Butler was then transported to a nearby hospital, where he remains.

Butler was arrested by the Tyler Police Department less than a week before his suicide attempt.

In June 2017, a 21-year-old prisoner died in Smith County Jail. Carlos Jose Hernandez, Jr. was discovered hanging from shower in a side cell. He had also been placed on suicide watch because of some of his answers to questions at the time of booking. Like Butler, he was also segregated from the rest of the prisoners. Hernandez had been observed sleeping at 12:11 a.m. before being found hanging at 12:20 a.m.

The Texas Rangers handle jail suicide investigations, and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards does inspections to determine whether the jail staff followed minimum standard procedures.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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For-Profit Prison in Pennsylvania to Pay Family of Janene Wallace $7 Million, in Connection with her Suicide

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Glen Mills, PA (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

While serving 52 days of solitary confinement, 35-year-old Janene Wallace committed suicide in Delaware County Prison in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, on May 26, 2015. In November 2017 news, the for-profit, privately owned prison has agreed to pay Wallace’s family $7 million. The family sued the prison because their loved one was allegedly denied needed psychiatric treatment for her symptoms of paranoia, anxiety, and depression. The staff also allegedly mistreated Wallace, and a guard allegedly encouraged her to kill herself. In addition, the prior owner of the facility had agreed to make reforms designed to prevent future suicides.

According to authorities, Wallace used her bra to hang herself from a ventilation grate.

Some of the allegations made by the prisoner’s family were that she was denied daily medical checks as well as such essentials as towels, sheets, and blankets. They also say that one guard encouraged Wallace to choke herself, after she made a threat of suicide. The jail responded to those allegations. One of the claims of the prison is that Wallace refused mental health and medical treatment during her incarceration. This allegedly tracked with statements that her mother made about refusing mental health treatment during the years preceding incarceration.

It is common practice for individuals with known mental health issues to be arrested and imprisoned. Certain procedures to prevent custodial deaths are supposed to be followed for such prisoners, however, such as providing frequent observation, especially when there are any indications that a prisoner may potentially be suicidal.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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A Prisoner is in Very Critical Condition after an Attempted Suicide in Smith County Jail in Tyler, Texas

Friday, November 10th, 2017

On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, Smith County Sheriff Larry R. Smith announced that at Smith County Jail in Tyler, Texas, a prisoner was discovered hanging inside a side cell at approximately 1:25 p.m. The prisoner’s condition was described as “very critical.” A detention officer made the discovery, and the prisoner was immediately cut down. Other personnel rendered aid. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was quickly initiated. The Tyler Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services responded to the call and continued efforts to save the man’s life as he was transported to a local hospital. The identity of the prisoner has not been revealed. Authorities said that he was admitted to the jail on November 2, and he had been on suicide watch.

The prisoner who hanged himself was considered to be a danger to other prisoners, and authorities say that’s why he was segregated to a side cell. The reason he was on suicide watch was because of some of his answers at initial booking. As a suicide risk, it was required that he be on 10-minute observation schedule. Records showed that he had been checked 9 minutes before being found hanging in the cell.

The sheriff said the Texas Rangers and the Texas Commission on Jail Standards had been notified about the attempted jail suicide.

Anytime there is a custodial death or injury, an investigation is done, to determine whether there was any type of negligence, such as a lapse in following jail standards and procedures, that could have contributed to the incident. Families of people who were harmed or who died while in custody often file civil lawsuits, if they feel that their loved one was the victim of a wrongful death.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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Two Days After Attempted Suicide, a Bexar County, Texas, Inmate Dies

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Bexar County Courthouse, San Antonio, Texas (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On October 19, 2017, 27-year-old Anthony Luna was in the booking area of Bexar County Jail in San Antonio, Texas, when a deputy discovered him in a bathroom stall attempting to hang himself. The deputy quickly intervened. Luna was given immediate medical attention and transported to Metropolitan Methodist Hospital. Luna died on Saturday at about 5:15 p.m., and the exact cause isn’t yet known. There will be an autopsy to make that determination.

One of the duties of jail personnel is to prevent custodial deaths. Certain procedures are required, so at-risk inmates don’t succeed in harming themselves or others. An investigation is always conducted when an inmate dies. Sometimes, if it is discovered that jail staff failed to make the required rounds to check the inmates, for instance, employees are fired. These oversights, if found to be contributing factors in an individual’s death, can lead to wrongful death lawsuits, which are filed by family members of the deceased.

Bexar County Jail has recently been under scrutiny because within a one-month period last year, four inmates died there. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards visited the jail after the first of the suicides, in a surprise inspection. They didn’t find any violations of jail standards at that time.

According to records, this is the third inmate death to occur in Bexar County Jail this year. They all occurred this month On October 3, authorities say a 36-year-old inmate died from apparent suicide. A 53-year-old inmate died of natural causes at the jail a few days later.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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A Bexar County, Texas, Deputy Intervenes in an Inmate Suicide Attempt

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

(Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, a deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department intervened and prevented an inmate from succeeding in a suicide attempt. Authorities say that the deputy discovered the 28-year-old inmate in a bathroom stall in the booking area of Bexar County Jail. The inmate was trying to hang himself. He received medical attention and was transported to a nearby hospital. Details about his condition have not been updated.

Earlier this month, on October 3, a 36-year-old inmate at Bexar County Jail died from apparent suicide, according to authorities. The man was incarcerated on an alleged murder charge. A few days later, a 53-year-old inmate at the same jail was discovered dead. Preliminary reports suggested that he died of natural causes.

In less than one month in the summer of 2016, four inmates at the Bexar County Jail committed suicide; and another committed suicide in December.

Bexar County isn’t the only place where jail suicide statistics are alarming. A 2014 study showed that jail suicides are on the rise across the nation, even though they are largely preventable. Since at least the year 2000, more inmates committed suicide in 2014 than any other year. The jail death rate was 140 deaths for every 100,000 inmates. In 2014, an average of more than one inmate died daily, at 372 jail suicides total.

Investigative journalists began logging jail fatalities following the death of Sandra Bland, who died in Waller County Jail in Texas on July 13, 2015. More than 800 deaths were documented. Data revealed at least 15 facilities in which inmates died at double the average rate.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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$1.7 Million to be Paid to Family for a Jail Suicide at Twin Towers Jail in Los Angeles, California

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angels, California (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

A 48-year-old inmate at Twin Towers Jail in Los Angeles, California, allegedly committed suicide by jumping from a second-level railing in November 2014. This week a $1.7 million payment to the man’s daughters was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

The inmate was Eric Loberg, and he had been diagnosed as a schizophrenic. The complaint in the lawsuit claims that 11 days before Loberg’s death, he had been arrested rather than returned to a psychiatric facility he had escaped from. He was detained on previous charges that had not been resolved.

The family of Loberg claims that he should have been returned to the mental health facility instead of being taken to jail. A jail psychiatrist had made a judgment that Loberg was a low risk for suicide and that he was not depressed, delusional, or anxious. The psychiatrist did, however, prescribe an antipsychotic medication, risperidone. Loberg was placed under a moderate level of observation. A report at the jail showed that Loberg was only 20% compliant with regards to taking the prescription drug.

At the time of Loberg’s death, there was no policy requiring the mental health staff to be alerted if a patient refused medications.

The lawsuit against the county claimed that officials were deliberately indifferent in matters that contributed to Loberg’s jail suicide.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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The Family of Jonathon Fano Filed a Lawsuit in Connection with his Alleged Suicide in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On February 2, 2017, Jonathan Fano hanged himself in a cell at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in Louisiana. He died three days later. This week, on September 20, his family filed a lawsuit, claiming that Fano was denied needed mental health treatment and was also subjected to unbearable living conditions. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Those being sued for the jail suicide include the city of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and law enforcement and prison officials.

The lawsuit claims that the serious mental health and medical needs of all prisoners were treated with deliberate indifference.

Fano’s family claims that he routinely took medication for mental illness. He was in Parish Prison for 94 days on six alleged misdemeanor charges. The lawsuit claims that 92 of those days were spent in solitary confinement.

The family says that Fano boarded a bus in Miami, Florida, and was on his way to go home to South California. On October 30, 2016, he disembarked in Baton Rouge, allegedly in response to voices he heard. Law enforcement officers discovered him the next day allegedly disturbing the peace, yelling and shouting profanities at imaginary people.

At a press announcement, Fano’s older sister said that if her brother had been taken to a hospital, where he belonged, rather than the jail, he would be alive today. She alleged that he suffered torture and was denied treatment and medication when in solitary confinement.

Allegedly, jail staff reported that Fano was frequently heard crying in his cell. In addition, the suit claims that Fano had cut his wrists in an attempted suicide within hours of being in jail. The family claims that some appointments with mental health care providers were kept but most were not, during his incarceration.

The family expressed their desire to see jail and prison reform, so that others wouldn’t suffer the same fate as their loved one.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

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Fort Bend County is Sued by the Family of Eugene Ethridge Jr., who Allegedly Committed Suicide in the County Jail

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

English: The Fort Bend County Courthouse locat...

English: The Fort Bend County Courthouse located at 29.5816° -95.7617°, Richmond, Texas, United States. The Classical Revival style building was dedicated in 1909. The Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 13, 1980. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In November 2015, 33-year-old Eugene Ethridge Jr. was discovered hanging from a bed sheet in a Fort Bend County, Texas, jail cell. In news released on September 19, 2017, Ethridge’s family is suing in a federal court. Eugene Ethridge Sr., the father, and four minor children allege that Fort Bend County and its employees are responsible for acts or inaction that led to the wrongful death of their loved one.

There were allegedly several major warning signals that changes were needed at Fort Bend County Jail, just prior to the November 2015 custodial death of Ethridge. Two months prior, another inmate allegedly committed suicide in the county jail. In addition, a mere three weeks prior, Fort Bend County had been warned that the jail was at risk for being found noncompliant with state law. Allegedly, Fort Bend County jail staff failed to regularly check cells at required intervals on the very day when the September 2015 inmate suicide occurred.

The family claims that Ethridge, who was incarcerated on a charge of driving while intoxicated, died because the jail was lax about making inmate checks. As a result, his children were deprived of their father. They also allege that Ethridge was deprived of adequate supervision due to deliberate indifference. According to the family, no effort was made to inform employees that there was a need to be compliant about cell checks.

The Fort Bend County Jail was found by the state’s jail commission to be noncompliant, as far as basic standards, two days after Ethridge’s death. By December 21, 2015, however, it was declared compliant and has remained that way, according to Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood.

An alarming statistic is that four suicides have occurred in the past five years at Fort Bend County Jail, according to Wood.

As with every post on this website, we are only providing information in this post and do not make any allegation or assertion that anyone acted inappropriately or engaged in misconduct.

–Guest Contributor

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