On Friday, June 17, 2016, detention personnel with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to an attempted suicide at the 1200 Baker Street Jail.
At approximately 8:05 PM a male inmate secluded himself in a shower area in a Medical Detoxification tank, and attempted suicide by hanging. The staff was notified of the inmate’s attempt, and immediately responded with emergency equipment designed to safely cut ligature devices. Detention staff immediately began resuscitative procedures as medical staff was summoned to the scene. HCSO Medical Staff and Houston Fire Department personnel continued CPR until the inmate’s blood pressure, pulse and breathing were restored. The individual was transported by HFD to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he remains in critical condition.
The inmate was booked into custody on June 13, 2016, for felony charges of Assault-Bodily Injury/Family Member. The State prescribed intake screening was performed, and no indicators of suicidal ideation were noted.
Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman has ordered an immediate Internal Affairs investigation into any possible violations of policy or procedure. “Should any indication of failure to adhere to our strict policies or procedures become evident, I will use the full power of my office to retrain or if necessary reprimand staff involved,” stated Hickman. “The care, custody, control and safety of inmates in our custody are charged to all employees working in the Harris County Jail.
“Unfortunately attempted suicide is an unwelcome reality of the jail environment. In 2015 there were 186 attempted suicides, and year to date in 2016 there have been 130 attempted suicides. No deaths in custody are acceptable, and I have dedicated my administration to improving the standards of care for Harris County inmates.
“Harris County averages a per capita jail suicide rate of 13 per 100,000. The National average is 46 per 100,000. I grieve for the circumstances that lead any person to attempt to take their own life, and pray for the family of the inmate involved in this attempted suicide.”
A three year breakdown of suicide attempts is listed below:
2016 – 130 Suicide Attempts
2015 – 186 Suicide Attempts, 1 death caused by Suicide
2014 – 154 Suicide Attempts, 3 deaths cause by Suicide.