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Texas Jail Death Attorney – A State with a High Number of Deaths in County Jails Seeks Answers by Analyzing Data and Specific Inmate Experiences – Part 3

Improvements in mental health services had already begun to be instituted prior to the agreement related to the death of the 55-year-old, according to the County Sheriff running the jail where the death occurred.

The man’s tragic death is considered one among many preventable fatalities in county jails in that state. Some of the state’s county jails report rising numbers of custodial deaths that are two to three times higher than nearby jurisdictions. Among the problems experts have cited in connection with these preventable deaths is a lack of resources and leadership that results in:

  • Understaffed jails,
  • Bargain-priced medical care, and
  • An insignificant level of oversight.

One County Jail Successfully Addressed the Issue of Increasing Custodial Deaths

The core responsibility of county jails is to keep people safe. People are not supposed to die or in any way be worse off mentally or physically because of a stay in jail, but it was happening more frequently in one county jail that decided to do something about it. With a change of leadership, the jail saw a significant improvement from one three-year period to the next. During those time frames, the number of custodial deaths dropped from 13 to four, respectively.

The Sheriff credited with the turnaround said that dedication to constant check-ins with inmates is of utmost importance, resulting in fewer suicide attempts and fewer people in crisis.

See Part 1, Part 2, and this continuing series about custodial deaths in county jails in a state outside of Texas.

The purpose of this site’s posts is to provide helpful information for current and former inmates in city and county jails in Texas and their families, especially when denial of civil rights is in question. There is no intention to suggest that any individual or institution has engaged in wrongdoing.

–Guest Contributor

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