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Lawyer – Is Increased Jail Staffing Necessary to Reduce the Number of Suicides in Texas Jails? – Part 3

Staff Training

One of the mental disability/suicide prevention directives is to train jail staff members on procedures for recognizing, supervising, documenting, and handling inmates in this at-risk category. Staff members involved in intake screening are required to have supplemental training, as well. In 2020, five Texas jails were cited by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) for non-compliance with this particular requirement. The following is derived from the notes accompanying the cited violation at each of the five jails non-compliant with regards to this standard:

  1. Four hours of suicide training are required annually, according to the Texas jail’s Mental Health Operational Plan. Yet, the last suicide training for staff members was in 2018.
  2. Jailers are to receive 80 hours of suicide prevention training, according to the jail’s Suicide Prevention Plan. The administrative staff, however, never provided training nor supplemental training to jail staff members. During the previous year’s annual inspection, the jail officials received technical assistance on this issue.
  3. The TCJS inspector was unable to verify that the required training for suicide prevention took place in the previous year, in accordance with the jail’s operational plan.
  4. No training for suicide prevention has occurred since the first quarter of 2018.
  5. No training rosters or training certificates reflecting that suicide prevention training took place were provided by the administrative staff at the jail.

See Part 1, Part 2, and this continuing series to learn more about Texas jails found to be in non-compliance with standards related to at-risk inmates in 2020.

This post, like all posts on this website, is intended to provide helpful information. There is no intention to suggest that wrongdoing has occurred on the part of any organization or individual.

–Guest Contributor

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