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Grand Jury says more can be done to prevent suicides in Santa Barbara County jails

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James Graham
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Grand Jury report calls for beefing up suicide prevention efforts in Santa Barbara County jails.

Report notes there have been four suicides in three years in county jail facilities.

More needs to be done to prevent suicides in Santa Barbara County’s jails. That’s the conclusion of a new Santa Barbara County Grand Jury report.

The Grand Jury looked at the death of a 30-year-old man who hung himself in a holding cell with a bedsheet. It happened less than a day after he was arrested. The jurors noted that it was the fourth suicide at the county’s main jail in three years.

The report says better communications between arresting deputies and jail medical staff might have prevented the suicide. It says some warning signs were missed.

It calls for creating a database so information can be shared about new inmates. It says jail medical staff members need more training to identify potential mental health issues. And, it suggests the county should have a mental health professional on duty at the main jail during the overnight hours.