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Who’s Legally Responsible for Prison and Jail Suicides?

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When Jose Luis Garza was arrested for threatening his brother during an intoxicated argument, his mother begged the police to keep watch of him. “I’m afraid of him hurting himself,” she told the arresting officer early one morning in February of 2016.

Watchfulness did not ensue. Despite his mother’s warnings, the local jail in the border town of Donna, Texas, took no mental-health precautions. Instead, in the hours after Garza covered the camera in his cell with wet paper towels, no one checked in on him. Sometime after 8 a.m., guards noticed Garza’s increasingly distressed wailing and banging on the cell doors, but did not investigate his condition. (Much later, a jailer added an entry to the hourly cell-check log for this time, but whether any took place is disputed.)

During that time, the jail staff was preoccupied with sign-making, working to produce tongue-in-cheek placards to decorate the facility. “Welcome to the Donna Hilton,” one read. Another sported the vigilante skull from the Punisher comic books. It was only after Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrived at the jail for unrelated purposes that Garza’s body was discovered. He’d hanged himself by his T-shirt tied to the bars of his cell door. No one had any idea how long he’d been hanging.



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Thanks !

Thanks for sharing this, you are awesome !