PRINCIPAL OFFICE: DALLAS, TEXAS: (214) 670-9989 | TOLL FREE: (866) 670-9989

Attorney in Texas – Inmate Deaths in County Jails Across the U.S. Cause Widespread Devastation – Part 7

At a county jail in a state outside Texas, a Sheriff explained that the jail has no separate housing for inmates with mental health or medical issues. Therefore, he said that the inmates categorized as being at risk are confined in solitary. Each of them spends 23 hours per day in a cell 6 by 9 feet in measure where the lights never go out. He acknowledged that the conditions are inhumane but that it is necessary to ensure the inmates survive their incarceration.

The Sheriff said that funding is sought so that the 66-year-old detention facility can be replaced with another that meets current requirements.

An expert on suicide in jails and prisons said her research revealed that budgets are only part of the problem. The fact that jails serve to hold inmates in need of drug treatment or medical care, mentally ill individuals, and others simply awaiting trial is a tremendous burden that is more than should be asked of one institution.

Learn more in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6 of this continuing series. In the next segment, learn about a county jail and a state with a high number of custodial deaths, many of which are suicides, and the story of one woman’s tragic death in particular.

Each of the posts on this site is meant to provide help to current and former Texas inmates as well as their families. There is never an intention to imply that an institution or person has engaged in impropriety of any kind.

–Guest Contributor

author avatar

Texas Attorney – Inmate Deaths in County Jails Across the U.S. Cause Widespread Devastation

Prison cells in big jail and security guard.

The loss of loved ones is often especially painful during the holidays, and many people across the U.S. are mourning loved ones who died in jail. Numerous news stories have reported on the crisis within jails where suicide is the leading cause of death, and denial of medical care is often associated with custodial deaths.

At one county jail outside Texas, attempts of suicide tripled within three years, but the same story is told in many U.S. counties. Why is that? Issues suggesting denial of appropriate medical care and mental care seem to dominate when exploring the details of what happened before inmates took their own lives. Inadequate staffing is a problem, too, with many jails failing to provide required inmate supervision for at-risk prisoners. The combination of desperate, suffering inmates and negligent oversight has proved to be a deadly one.

The mother of a 25-year-old who committed suicide in a county jail outside Texas shares her devastation. Her daughter was mentally ill and had taken medication for depression and hyperactivity, which stabilized her. When she ended up in jail, the nurse there denied her the medications.

The young woman called her mother three times in one day, filled with rage because she couldn’t get the medications she needed. The mom reached out to her daughter’s probation officer, who gave assurances that the jail was monitoring the 25-year-old.

The next day was Thanksgiving and the ninth day the young woman had been in jail, and her mom got the news that she had committed suicide by hanging herself, never having received the needed medications.

Learn more about the custodial death crisis across the U.S. in this continuing series.

The posts on this site are provided as helpful resources for current and former Texas inmates and their families. There is never an intention to suggest improprieties on the part of any persons or entities.

–Guest Contributor

author avatar