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.
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.