A new Santa Barbara County Jury report is calling on more steps to be taken to prevent suicides in the county’s jail, in the wake of the suicide of a 29 year old male inmate in an isolation cell last year.
The Grand Jury noted that the inmate who suffocated himself with a plastic bag had been checked on 41 times during the day when he killed himself.
But, they say the checks didn’t include seeing the face of the inmate, which it says was a violation of jail policy. The inmate was lying in his bunk, and had his head hidden behind an alcove in his cell, so no one realized immediately that he had a bag on his head.
The report calls on deputies to account for plastic bags which meals are distributed in, as well as plastic bags distributed for trash in the cells.
The inmate told staff he feared for his life, but refused suggestions that he receive mental health assistance. Records show there were 14 suicide attempts from 2009 to 2011 in the county jail.