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Dickens County Jail is Cited for Non-Compliance

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Dickens County Jail in Dickens, Texas, is currently listed as a non-compliant jail on the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) website. A jail inspection was conducted on June 10, 2024, after which TCJS inspectors cited Dickens County Jail for violating three minimum jail standards. Among them was a citation for failing to provide suicide prevention training for 3 of 4 jailers during 2023. A notice of non-compliance was sent to the jail on June 11, 2024. Dickens County Jail’s address is 819 5th Street, Dickens, TX 79229. The jail has a housing capacity of 8 inmates.

How Can a Lack of Suicide Prevention Training Harm Inmates?

More than one-third of all custodial deaths in county and municipal jails are caused by suicide, and it is the leading cause of death in those environments. When jailers receive the required suicide prevention training, they learn how to detect and prevent inmate suicide. When the following strategies work in cooperation together, experience shows that nearly every jail suicide can be averted:

  • The jail staff receives suicide prevention training
  • Jailers responsible for intake screening also receive supplemental training
  • Ongoing communication between staff
  • Detainees are placed in safe and appropriate housing
  • Inmates are subject to frequent observation
  • Prompt intervention when suicide is attempted
  • Human interaction between jail staff and detainees

Ultimately, there are two critical factors in the prevention of suicide in jails:

  1. Capable jailers, medical staff, and mental health staff with proper suicide prevention training; and
  2. Pro-active, capable, and effective supervisors and administration personnel.

Suicide Statistics Give Clues Regarding Jail Suicides

Remaining on high alert for possible suicides among certain inmates can be effective when suicide statistics are considered. For instance, in a recent analysis of jail suicides in Texas, more than one-third of them occurred within the first 7 days of incarceration. Approximately 24% of Texas jail suicides occurred within the first 24 hours of admission. Another 27% of the suicides occurred between days 2 through 14. Other statistics that may provide helpful insights on possible suicide prevention follow:

  • Approximately 93% of the time, hanging is the method used for committing suicide in Texas jails.
  • The longest time between observations of inmates in Texas jails should never exceed 60 minutes, per minimum jail standards. Statistics show, however, that 31% of suicide victims in Texas jails were discovered after more than 1 hour of observation.

Contact the Law Offices of Dean Malone for Help with Jail Death Cases

It is important to seek experienced help if one of your loved ones has died in the custody of a Texas jail and you suspect jail abuse or neglect. Those in the Law Offices of Dean Malone have experience representing the rights of jail inmates and their families. We have a special team that focuses on jail death cases. Are you a former detainee who suffered abuse, neglect, or jail medical neglect while in jail and, as a result, are dealing with a life-altering injury? If so, we are also interested in hearing from you. For your free case review, contact us 24/7 via phone, text, or our online form.

Written By: author image smchugh
author image smchugh