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Attorneys Representing Dog Attack Victims Across Texas

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’

As Reports of Continued Problems at the New Orleans, Louisiana Jail Multiply, the Director Quits

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

New Orleans, Louisiana (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Director appointed to address problems at the New Orleans Jail in New Orleans, Louisiana, quit. There was a status hearing that day, in which a litany of problems was discussed. The director began work in October 2016. A lawsuit had been filed over conditions at the jail, resulting in a 2012 jail compliance agreement. The jail moved to a new location in 2015, but the location itself seemed to have nothing to do with the activities at the jail. Suicide attempts and prisoner violence continued at the new facility. Shortly after the new director was hired, in 2016, a 15-year-old succeeded in committing suicide by hanging; and another suicide occurred a few months later.

Among the problems that are recognized at the New Orleans jail are: Prisoner suicides, fights between prisoners, drug overdoses, other smuggled contraband, inadequate staffing, poor training, and a lack of written policies. Mental healthcare is also inadequate, particularly for women prisoners.  Margo Frasier is a court-appointed monitor of the situation and former Texas sheriff. At the hearing about jail conditions, she said she smelled marijuana smoke during a weekend jail visit. She said that on 10 occasions in recent months, Narcan had been used in the treatment of opioid overdoses. On three of those occasions, a prisoner died from an overdose.

Dr. Raymond Patterson, a court-appointed expert, testified at the hearing that, due to inadequate supervision, prisoners frequently manage to secure sharp objects and other items that can be used in suicide attempts.

At the hearing, Frasier insisted that the problems can all be fixed. However, there are growing concerns as problems continue to mount.

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 51-year-old Prisoner at a County Jail in Mississippi Apparently Commits Suicide

Monday, January 15th, 2018

English: Headquarters of the Meridian Star, a ...

English: Headquarters of the Meridian Star, a newspaper in Meridian, Mississippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fifty-one-year-old Robert Johnson died at Kemper-Neshoba Correctional Facility in De Kalb, Mississippi, on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. He was discovered dead inside an observation room. According to Kemper County Sheriff James Moore, strangulation with a shoestring appears to be the cause of death. An investigation is underway and there will be an autopsy, to determine whether it was a suicide.

Jailers at the facility responded to two altercations earlier that evening, both involving Johnson. The first incident involved other inmates. The second time jailers were involved with Johnson was because he was threatening to do himself harm. He had been moved into the observation room because of those threats.

Although he was found deceased, Johnson was transported to a local hospital, where attempts to revive him failed.

Johnson had been housed at the jail on behalf of Meridian, another city in Mississippi, since November 15 for unpaid fines and a variety of other reasons. Sheriff Moore said they had attempted to determine what Johnson’s history was, and they knew the East Mississippi State Hospital was his last known address.

Johnson spoke about the need for prisoners to get the help they need for mental illnesses. He said county jails aren’t equipped to serve in the role of a mental health center and that jail is not therapy. He said more space needs to be provided at state hospitals, and sheriff’s departments need additional funding to deal with people suffering from mental illness.

Texas lawmakers have acknowledged that prisoners with mental health problems need proper care. A new law referred to as the Sandra Bland Act was passed in 2017. The new legislation adds requirements on how to handle prisoners who are or may be mentally ill.

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 Attempts Suicide in Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

 

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

At Bell County Central Jail in Belton, Texas, prisoner Eli Gauna Jr., age 23, attempted to commit suicide on January 1, 2018. Bell County Correctional Officers were advised that Gauna was hanging inside of a jail cell. They went to the cell and provided medical assistance. He was then transported to Baylor Scott and White Emergency for further medical treatment. The injuries are serious, and his family was notified about the suicide attempt. Gauna had been incarcerated for less than 48 hours before the incident. The Texas Rangers are investigating the attempted suicide. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) will also conduct an investigation, to determine whether minimum jail standards were being upheld at the time the incident occurred.

Suicide attempts can obviously do serious harm very quickly. On October 19, 2017, 27-year-old Anthony Luna hung himself in the booking unit of Bexar County Jail in Texas. Deputies quickly intervened, and Luna was hospitalized at Metropolitan Methodist Hospital. Unfortunately, he died two days later, on the 21st of October.

During investigations into custodial deaths and attempted jail suicide, jail records are carefully studied. One of the things that is always checked by investigators with TCJS is whether welfare checks of prisoners were being conducted as required by Texas law. When a person is in a holding or detox cell, per TCJS standards, there should be checks every 30 minutes at the least, for example. Members of jail staff have been held accountable for failing in these types of responsibilities.

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 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.

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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.

–Guest Contributor

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