Views From Within

Internet Political Prophecies And Subversive Material For Cool People

Newton County Jail Suicide Epidemic

Posted by jeremiasx on June 4, 2008

Folks I don’t normally have time to complain too much about local happenings, but I feel rather compelled to let the good folks of the world know that we’re having a LITTLE PROBLEM up here in Newton County with folks HANGING THEMSELVES in the jail up here. I’m not sure what to say except that I sure hope someone is taking the time to look into it DEEPLY.

Where’s the FBI? Where’s the Arkansas Bureau of Prisons? Where’s ANYONE at this point? WTF?

Why are these incidents an atrocity to reason?

The main reason is the sheer weight of negligence required to have a jail housing prisoners 24 hours a day without a full time jailer or even a properly working closed circuit TV system operational. The backup system (CCTV) failed in BOTH these cases. A dispatcher is not capable of monitoring an entire jail full of inmates remotely.

Do you see wrongful death lawsuits coming? I do.

Faith in the local civic leadership has been eroding steadily over the time I’ve lived up here due to several bad policies and choices made and not made concerning law enforcement and the jail. These events have caused the jumpstart of a campaign by a write-in candidate to overturn the incumbent Sheriff Keith Slape. The first-term sheriff recently suffered personal tragedy in the death of his daughter, leaving some locals to question his ability to effectively show enough leadership in dealing with this particular situation to maintain office after November. Time will tell.

*UPDATED 6/29*

New information supplied by a local law enforcement source proves the rumor that the second suicide was from hanging from a bunk bed was incorrect, as had been originally reported right here in error…it was actually a vent duct near the ceiling over the toilet. I hope that clears up a lot of confusion but maintain my position that both deaths were probably avoidable had better controls been in place and had the jail had a full time staff. How there couldn’t be one is a real mystery to me. Just seems absent minded and flat ass dangerous.

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3 Responses to “Newton County Jail Suicide Epidemic”

  1. Allyson said

    What are the feds investigating in Newton County? And how come the budget shortfall is so great that inmates are replacing regular workers to save payroll dollars? How come the sheriff’s office hasn’t posted crime statistics since he’s been in office and the jail’s falling apart…and yet he was able to get the money to hire some retired Chicago cop!

    Are these expenses justified?

  2. ConcernedCitizen said

    At a recent meeting here in Newton County regarding the building of a new jail, Sherrif Keith Slape stated that there was only 2,000 bucks remaining for operating cost. After taking office the Sherrif went and bought some new police vehicles and other equiptment. So not good managment from the get go.

    We had a vote here for a tempory sales tax to build a new jail, and another sales tax to use for mantaining it. The temp tax to build the jail won, while the tax to mantain it did not. It was already said before the vote that if only the building the jail tax won, and the mantinance tax did not that the current property tax here would go from 2.5 mil, to 5 mil. to pay for it. So in classic Newton County style the citizens screwed themselve again and their property tax will soon double.

    The problem with Newton County is the lack of allowing any businesses build here that will bring tax money into a broke county. Wal-Mart was going to come here but and that would have brought tax money and many many new jobs but alas in Newton County style was struck down. They have built a new church, electric company, bank, and nursing home. Though its nice to see these new things here, they do NOT bring in tax revenue to Newton County. The city of Jasper once had a population of well over 1000 residents. Now it is just over 400. Now when the young kids graduate they pack up and leave for other places where they are much more likely to prosper.

  3. autum said

    i want to stay up dated my family stays there.
    a lot has changed seens i was last down there

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