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Waller County, Texas Prisoner Dies As a Result of Suicide After Jail Fails TCJS Inspection

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Evan Lyndell Parker, only 34 years of age at the time, attempted suicide in the Waller County, Texas jail on or about Friday, January 25, 2019. He was transported to an area hospital. Unfortunately, Mr. Parker died of his injuries.

As we recently posted, Waller County, Texas failed a Texas Commission on Jail Standards Inspection not long before Mr. Parker committed suicide. This is particularly troubling, because the Waller County jail is where Sandra Bland committed suicide. It is difficult to imagine what else might need to occur at the Waller County jail for the County to remedy apparent issues with its jail.

Jailers in Texas have duties under the United States Constitution, pursuant to the 14th Amendment, to pre-trial detainees, to provide reasonable medical care and reasonable mental health care. More specifically, if a prisoner has known suicidal tendencies, and jailers are deliberately indifferent to those known tendencies, the jailers could be held liable for injury to and/or death of such a prisoner. These claims are typically brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 in federal court.

Jailers, Texas sheriffs, and Texas county commissioners should be aware that suicide is a leading causes of death in county jails. Therefore, they should take action to assure that constitutional violations do not occur.

Written By: author image Dean Malone
author image Dean Malone
Dean Malone is the founder of Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a jail neglect civil rights law firm. Mr. Malone earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, and from Baylor University School of Law with a general civil litigation concentration. Mr. Malone served in several staff positions for the Baylor Law Review, including executive editor. Mr. Malone is an experienced trial lawyer, trying a number of cases to jury verdict and also handling arbitrations through final hearing. He heads the jail neglect section of his law firm, in which lawyers litigate cases involving serious injury and death resulting from jail neglect and abuse. Lawyers frequently refer cases to Mr. Malone due to his focus on this very complicated civil rights practice area.