The “Whole Story” describes other deaths which never should have occurred, besides, Ms. Call’s. People DIE because prison staff is so very seldom held accountable. We can never know the true numbers, because prison officials lie so much to cover cause of death [see numerous related Articles on this website!]
As I have seen, even when they are supposed to watch inmates, the guards sleep through their shift and then awaken to falsify reports, indicating that they had checked on inmates … when they had not.
This is just the count for county jails in one state, and does not include the main prisons. The true number of preventable, needless, deaths is beyond outrageous!
Excerpts from the Article:
It couldn’t have been any clearer to Wilkes County jail staff that Emily Jean Call intended to kill herself. She had been arrested on April 16, 2012, for missing a court date. Call had told detention officers then that she was high on crystal methamphetamine and wanted to kill herself. She had cut her wrist two weeks earlier, requiring a trip to the emergency room, state records show.
After two days in jail, she told medical staff she was sick, fatigued and depressed, feeling like she was going to have a nervous breakdown. The county’s mental health provider was no longer offering services at the jail, which meant no one was available to treat her mounting depression, the records show.
She should have been watched closely – at least four times an hour, according to state regulations. But Call, 32, a mother of two struggling with drug addiction, went unwatched for more than an hour. She slipped away to a bathroom in a common area, slung a bed sheet over a water pipe, tied it around her neck, stood on a toilet and stepped off.
“I said: ‘Please, I beg you, watch her,’ ” her mother, Anna Call, recalled telling a jail employee she knew. It was among many phone calls she said she made to jailers to keep an eye on her daughter. She said her daughter was being treated for a suicide attempt when she was arrested for missing a court date.
Emily Call was one of 51 inmates who died in North Carolina’s county jails in the past five years after being left unsupervised for longer than state regulations allow, a News & Observer investigation shows. Jailers failed to make timely checks, left in place sheets or towels that prevented them from seeing suicide attempts, or didn’t fix broken cameras or intercoms that helped them keep in touch with inmates.
“There were no rounds made the entire day,” a state report said of Reynolds’ death. “…It is clear that there was a gross failure to properly supervise inmates.”
Often, the inmates who died had not been convicted of the charges that landed them in jail. Many were for lesser offenses such as illegal panhandling, drug possession and larceny, though some had been charged with more serious offenses, such as murder.
The deaths account for slightly more than half of those investigated from 2012-2016 by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Construction Section, which is better known for inspecting medical facilities. A lack of supervision was blamed for one out of every three of the 151 deaths in county jails in that time period.
The deaths also expose the rising number of inmates who suffer from mental illness, drug addictions or both – and underline the importance for jailers to check on them frequently.
“The duties of the jail to properly manage, supervise, care for these inmates is paramount,” said Morey, a Democrat. “And the number of cases that you’re telling me about when the regulations are not being followed is appalling.”