Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Jail Inmate Suicides

It's a brief article, fewer than 75 words and without much detail, headlined Inmate hangs self in jail cell on page A7 of The Spokesman Review on Monday, February 28, 2005. It will probably be overlooked by most readers, ho-hummed by others. Just another inmate suicide in the Kootenai County Jail. Not our problem, not our concern, we probably didn't even know the guy. Somebody did, but we probably didn't. (Reading the linked article may require subscription to The Spokesman Review or to its online site.) Not surprisingly, the Coeur d'Alene Press made no mention of it in Monday's paper.

Jail inmate suicides usually do not get much news attention unless the subsequent investigation reveals criminal misconduct or negligence by jailers. But today's New York Times has a fascinating article In City's Jails, Missed Signals Open Way to Season of Suicides by Paul vonZielbauer. (Reading the linked articles may require free registration on the New York Times online site.)

The New York Times' article is worth reading -- and thinking about.


Blogger Happy X. Dopey said...

Interesting article. I think that to some degree suicide prevention in a corrections setting is, unfortunately, a numbers game, in that at some point after hundreds or maybe thousands (or more) of inmates go through the facility, the odds of something happening are very high. To combat this, training, policy, and ongoing awareness of the potential are vital.

12:32 AM, March 14, 2005  

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