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Jailers Outside Texas Allegedly Watch and Fail to Act During a Suicide Attempt – Part 3 of 3

Non-Compliance in Texas Jails Continued

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards (TCJS) also stipulates that jail staff members must be trained at certain intervals on the procedures for recognizing, supervising, documenting, and handling mentally ill and potentially suicidal inmates. Staff members responsible for intake screening must be provided with supplemental training. The following is information regarding non-compliance with this standard in the aforementioned September 2020 jail inspection report:

  • The last time suicide training was provided to the jail staff was in November 2018. The Mental Health Operational Plan specifies that suicide training will be provided annually in four-hour sessions.

The Texas Administrative Code details components that must be included in jail staff training in order to help with suicide prevention. The following are among those components:

  • Jail staff must know the proper procedures for communicating information related to potentially suicidal and mentally disabled inmates.
  • Training must be provided so that procedures for housing are understood. For instance, potentially suicidal and mentally disabled inmates must be placed in appropriate housing that will ensure increased observation as compared with the general population.
  • Jail staff members need to know about intervention and emergency treatment. The staff must know how to respond in the following circumstances:
    • Prior to the occurrence of a suicide attempt,
    • As a suicide attempt is in progress, and
    • When serious deterioration of an inmate’s mental condition is identified.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part series.

Providing information that could be of help to current and former inmates and their families is the purpose of every post on this website. There is never an intention to imply that any kind of impropriety has occurred on the part of an individual or organization.

–Guest Contributor

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