Second Inmate Suicide in Hernando County Jail
I think we’d all agree that one suicide is too many, but two within nine weeks is intolerable. What are the Sheriff and County Commissioners waiting for before they demand implementation of suicide prevention procedures from the company managing their jail? If the management company can not do this then they must be replaced by a new management team…
The most recent inmate to take his life had tried three time before
his final success, first by cutting his neck and wrist. In the second
incident he was found to have hidden several ibuprofen pills and a
razor which earned him 15 days in lockdown, a euphemism for isolation,
which causes many inmates’ mental health to deteriorate even
further. After a third incident he thrashed his cell and was placed in
lockdown for another thirty days.
Jail officials obviously failed to consider that his behavior might be
indicative of something more serious and decided not to place him on
suicide watch. Even then he should have been observed every thirty
minutes. But jail staff could not say when he had last been checked.
He was found hanging with a sheet tied around his neck.
This problem is not limited to just Hernando County. Healthcare and
especially mental healthcare in most jails throughout the country are
often woefully inadequate. The general attitudes seem to be that it is
too costly and after all who cares? They’re just prisoners.
Tell that to their families.