Improper Segregation Unit Placement Leads to Significant Injury

This case study examines a situation where a 21-year-old first-time offender, identified as a suicide risk, was allegedly placed in a segregation unit, leading to an attempted self-harm incident.

ByExpert Institute

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Published on February 6, 2024

Corrections officer leading prisoner down hallway

Case Overview

This case study examines an incident involving a 21-year-old arrested for the first time because of an altercation with their sibling. Despite being identified as a suicide risk, allegations suggest that the prison facility intentionally disregarded its policies and placed this individual in a segregation unit.

Tragically, the individual attempted suicide by hanging, resulting in severe injuries. This case scrutinizes the actions taken by correctional officers and superintendents through expert insight from a seasoned professional in correctional administration.

Questions to the expert and their responses

Q1

As a jail administrator, how frequently do you assess the appropriateness of jail personnel's actions?

Throughout my 33-year law enforcement career, including over ten years as a jail administrator, I have consistently evaluated jail personnel’s actions after every incident. This evaluation process is vital to ensure compliance with policies and procedures while identifying potential improvements in practices or techniques.

Q2

What are the standard protocols when an inmate is identified as a suicide risk?

When an arrestee is flagged as a suicide risk, immediate implementation of specific suicide protocols is mandatory. These may include outfitting them in a suicide prevention garment, removing potential ligatures, and intensifying supervision frequency.

In cases of active self-harm attempts, using a restraint chair might be necessary until the immediate crisis subsides. Additionally, housing such individuals with others can reduce the likelihood of suicide attempts.

Q3

Have you previously reviewed similar cases? If so, please provide details.

Indeed, I have reviewed similar cases where inmate deaths occurred due to non-compliance with policies and procedures. These include methadone overdose death, fentanyl overdose death, and drug interaction death. Each of these cases presented unique challenges and learning opportunities.

About the expert

This expert boasts over 35 years of law enforcement experience, with a specialization in correctional supervision. Their extensive career includes serving as a jail division commander and jail administrator for a large county sheriff's office, where they oversaw all jail, court security, medical, and inmate transport operations across three facilities. Currently, this expert imparts their knowledge as a professor in a university's criminology department and serves as a consultant at a private law enforcement and corrections consultancy.

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