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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 ‘Suicide’

A Woman Threatens Suicide in an Oklahoma Jail and Follows Through Within an Hour

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Midwest City, Oklahoma (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday, October 8, 2017, a woman was discovered deceased in her jail cell at Midwest City Jail in Midwest City, Oklahoma. According to police, the 53-year-old woman had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol at approximately 2:20 a.m. Sunday. Her blood alcohol content was allegedly twice the legal limit, at .19%. The woman told jail staff that she intended to do harm to herself. For that reason, seemingly in compliance with procedure, her clothes were taken from her and she was placed in a protective jail suit in a cell by herself. She went to a toilet area, however, and was discovered there at about 3:45 a.m., already deceased. Police Chief Brandon Clabes said that every precaution that the jail staff needed to take was adhered to, in an effort to keep the woman safe.

Of course, this jail suicide is under investigation. Custodial death is something jails have a duty to try to avoid. Particularly when inmates advise jail staff members of their intent to hurt themselves, precautions are enhanced. Assessments are also done when inmates are being admitted into jails. An important part of an assessment is to find out whether or not the individual is at risk for suicide or violence.

New laws have been enacted this year in Texas under the Sandra Bland Act. The purpose is to help prevent jail suicides among inmates who may have mental issues of some kind.

There have been many occasions when the family members of people who committed suicide in jail sued the county for some type of neglect leading to the death. That is the type of detail that will be looked into during this investigation in Midwest City.

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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Sherman County Jail in Stratford, Texas, is Cited for 3 Alleged Jail Standard Violations

Friday, October 6th, 2017

Former Huron County Jail

Former Huron County Jail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Jail Inspection Report came out on September 26, 2017, detailing three violations of jail standards allegedly committed by Sherman County Jail in Stratford, Texas. Whether or not individuals are ultimately proven innocent, they have a right to be properly cared for while in the complete charge of jail staff; custodial deaths should be avoided if at all possible. The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) does routine inspections on all jail facilities, to ensure that inmates, staff members, and others are in a safe environment. The civil rights of inmates should not be infringed upon during incarceration. For example, they are entitled to three meals per day, a safe environment, and medical attention when injured or ill.

One of the most dangerous situations is when an inmate at risk for committing suicide isn’t given appropriate supervision. Conducting frequent checks of such inmates prevents someone from succeeding in suicide. There have been many different cases in which a jail suicide occurred and then records revealed that deputies had allegedly been habitually late in making cell checks. Sometimes families sue a county for the loss of their loved one.

The following are the jail standards that were allegedly violated by Sherman County Jail:

  • The facility must be inspected annually by a local fire official.
  • Staff members must be trained for emergency situations at the time of being hired as well as each quarter. The training includes evacuation drills, emergency, fire, and location and use of equipment.
  • Written menus must be approved annually for compliance with basic nutrition requirements of inmates who are known to be pregnant.

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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An Allegheny County Inmate Commits Suicide, the 3rd in 2017

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

English: Baltimore County Jail, December 2009

English: Baltimore County Jail, December 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 62-year-old Ross Frye hanged himself in his cell at Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After being discovered, he was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died that Friday. After the jail suicide, two correctional officers were suspended without pay, though details of their suspension have not been released. News outlets were informed by multiple sources that the two correctional officers were working when Frye allegedly hanged himself at about 10 a.m. According to sources from Allegheny County Jail, after the custodial death, another action taken was that an assistant director of nursing at the facility was dismissed.

Other changes were immediately set into motion, after Frye was discovered hanging in his cell. A deputy warden sent instructions to officers conducting rounds. They are now to always carry tools for cutting someone down who could be in the process of hanging themselves. The practice has been that for every two correctional officers working a pod, one carries a set of keys and one has a cut-down tool. The latest memo gives clear instructions that if one of the officers leaves to conduct rounds, the cut-down tool is to go with that officer.

Frye was alone in an intake pod when the deadly incident occurred. The deputy warden also sent a memo saying that no inmate can be housed alone in an intake pod.

Two other inmates have allegedly committed suicide at Allegheny County Jail this year, and correctional officers were fired after each instance. Another change that was made was the medical unit rounds are now done every 15 minutes rather than every 30 minutes.

Jails are not supposed to be places where people go to die. Incarcerated individuals, whether merely accused or convicted, deserve to be kept safe, even from themselves.

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, Texas Jail Takes Action to Prevent Inmate Suicides

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Português: Uma cela moderna em Brecksville Pol...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Inmates committing suicide while incarcerated is a growing concern in recent years, and the Smith County, Texas, Jail is taking action. Arguably, the light began to be shed on jail suicides in a major way when Sandra Bland took her own life in the Waller County, Texas, jail on July 13, 2015. She had been arrested after being pulled over for an alleged minor traffic violation. Three days later, she was discovered hanging in a jail cell. She died and coroners say the cause of death was suicide. Since that time, laws have been changed in Texas to provide additional help for people with mental health issues who are incarcerated. The people at Smith County Jail have taken it upon themselves to take additional measures to decrease the number of inmate suicides in that facility.

Dozens of individual jail cells have been changed at Smith County jail in East Texas, and a suicide prevention cell has been created. According to Sheriff Larry Smith, there have been three suicide attempts at the jail this year alone. He said that in two of the three instances, the inmates were discovered during checks; and they were cut down from hanging themselves.

Sheriff Smith says that approximately 20% of their inmates have a mental health issue of some kind. This prompted the recent changes to single separation cells. They made it where there is nothing to drape something over.

Smith also said that individuals who are depressed or despondent should not be alone in a cell. A 12-person suicide prevention cell has now been created. The single cells are now used for inmates considered to be violent.

Other suicide prevention steps include that multiple cameras have been added to the group cell. There is an added window for observing inmates, but face-to-face observations are still important. Smith said that all of the extra eyes should effectively prevent inmates from succeeding in killing themselves.

Jail trustees renovated the group cell under the supervision of the maintenance department at Smith County Jail. All changes were funded by the inmate commissary. The changes cost the public nothing.

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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30-year-old Stormye Murphey, an Inmate at Denton County Jail, is Found Dead and Suicide is the Suspected Cause

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Denton County Courts Building (Photo: Labeled for reuse)

On Sunday, August 13, 2017, Stormye Murphey, a Caucasian female, was booked into Denton County Jail on a charge of assault causing bodily injury. The next day, she had a an alleged “medical episode” and was transported to Medical City Denton, according to Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree. On the same day, 30-year-old Murphey was released from the hospital and booked into one of the medical units in Denton County Jail. She did not have a cellmate. On Tuesday morning, August 15, during an alleged routine cell check at 11:46 a.m., a jailer discovered that Murphey was unresponsive. She was deceased, and initial evidence indicates that suicide may have been the cause. So far, the official cause of death has not been released by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. The custodial death is being investigated by the Texas Rangers (with the Texas Department of Public Safety).  The Texas Rangers frequently investigate custodial deaths or deaths at the hands of police officers.

Murphree declined to provide further details on the nature of the medical episode that led to Murphey being transported to a medical facility. He said that their decision to monitor Murphey’s medical condition is basically standard protocol.

Jail suicides have always been a concern for those affected, but the problem has been increasingly in the spotlight ever since the death of Sandra Bland in Waller County Jail in July 2015. Her encounter with a police officer that led to her incarceration and suicide three days later has been associated with growing racial tensions across the nation. Since then, there seems to be more than the usual number of ongoing investigations, changes in legislation, disciplinary actions, and lawsuits related to jail suicides in Texas.  People have the right to reasonable medical care and to be watched, if they have suicidal tendencies, under the United States Constitution.

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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