The numbers of people dying in county jails are adding up in 2014. The recent death of 18-year-old Victoria Gray was especially tragic and needless. She died in September in the Brazoria County Jail after that jail failed to protect her despite knowing of her history. On October 6th, 37-year-old Iretha Lilly died hours after being tased by a McLennan County deputy; because of many reports to us of jailers failing to respond to a person in a medical crisis, we are asking how long was Ms. Lilly in heart failure before she was taken to the ER? So many people are dying, most of them not yet convicted, and yet their deaths are not always investigated. (Our list is only of deaths within county jails, not police custody.) Earlier this year, when Courtney Ruth Elmore died in the Brown County Jail, was staff properly trained to watch for respiratory failure? David Grimaldo, 18, a Perryton High School student died just hours after being booked into the Ochiltree County Jail. Sheriff Joe Hataway reported that the teen died of a medical condition—could a quicker response have prevented his death?
Posts Tagged ‘ suicide ’
The numbers of people dying in county jails are adding up in 2014—and most recently, one of them was especially tragic. Only 18, Victoria Gray died in September in the Brazoria County Jail after that jail failed in so many ways, it will take a full investigation to sort that out and hold officers and officials accountable. Some, like Victoria, die of suicide while others die of what is called “natural causes,” and their deaths are not always investigated. (More have died in police custody or other facilities; we are only listing those in county jails.) Earlier this year, the list included Courtney Ruth Elmore, was 33 years old. She died February 11, 2014, around 7:00 a.m.. in the Brown County Jail. Was the staff trained to watch for respiratory failure? David Grimaldo, 18, a Perryton High School student died just hours after being booked into the Ochiltree County Jail. The Ochiltree County Sheriff Joe Hataway read from an autopsy report saying that the teen died of a medical condtion complicated by intoxication. Could it have been prevented?
About 500 pregnant women are incarcerated in Texas county jails each month. Some are only held there a few days, but others may be incarcerated for weeks and months and a number will deliver their babies in local hospitals while in custody.
Chelsi Moy published a wonderful story in the Missoulian about a beautiful woman who killed herself in the Uvalde jail. Read all of it here.
Patulla Williams had been dead for several hours before anyone thought to check on her. The 29-year-old was found d dead in a Texas jail cell, a television cord wrapped around her neck. Her death in December placed a tragic period at the end of a life plagued by trouble, a life that began in a foster home in western Montana.
Williams had struggled for decades with abuse from her early life, but she disguised it well, the hurt hidden behind a smile radiant enough to stop strangers in their tracks wherever she went. And Williams went a lot of places.
Imagine your loved one, out of his or her mind with a terrible mental problem–incarcerated in a local jail. On the next page, a Texas Tribune story tells of a tragic end for such a person. (“Llano County Jail Death”) Now we have received a personal note that describes just how difficult it is to deal with the system when trying to help a mentally ill person inside a jail:
“My brother had been incarcerated for months in an East Texas county jail and due to mental illness needed transfer to a mental health facility…We had called several different advocacy organizations with no success and I was just so thrilled and relieved when I spoke to Diana. She was the first to take an interest and start looking into my brother’s case.”
“The defendants completely ignored the serious medical and mental health needs of Mr. Salazar during his detention at the Nueces County Jail,” the lawsuit reads.
This statement probably applies to many suicides, according to information and reports gathered by Texas Jail Project.
How many people have to kill themselves before the MOCO jail administrators make some changes? Both these men used bed sheets to kill themselves. Neither were convicted and Noboa had been held for a year and was in a single cell, in isolation. In many parts of the U.S. and the world, prolonged solitary confinement is considered torture. And Texas Jail Project has been receiving more and more complaints about this jail’s treatment of inmates over the past few months. We need a real investigation of this jail. As well as an investigation of pre-trial detention that lasts a year!
In this article by Alex Horvath, we see that more and moref people are DYING in county jails – and not just in Texas. But because Texas has so many county jails with so many inmates, the numbers here are depressingly high. While some would have died anyway, many die directly as a result of poor care and neglect. Texans can change this by asking more questions and paying attention to the way their county is running their jail. Churches and civic groups and even indicviduals can promote programs and activities to change the jails from isolated incubators of illness and more crime.
The investigation of an inmate at Webb County Jail leads to the arrests of two correctional officers. Esteban Paez, Sr. and Enrique Villarreal turned themselves in to authorities following a custodial death investigation earlier this month. A joint investigation with the Webb County Sheriff’s office and Texas Rangers revealed the two didn’t follow procedures. Inmate Charlie
By Zeke MacCormack, Updated 12:01 a.m., Saturday, May 14, 2011, MySanAntonio The Texas Rangers are investigating a Gillespie County Jail inmate’s death that’s being described as an apparent suicide. “It’s very unfortunate,” Gillespie County Sheriff Buddy Mills said Thursday of the death of Damion Schroeder, 37, formerly of San Antonio, Austin and Fair Oaks Ranch. Schroeder