Inmate found dead in the Clark County Jail

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

Updated: July 1, 2012, 9:46 PM

 

A 42-year-old man hanged himself in the Clark County Jail on Sunday morning, said sheriff’s Sgt. Duncan Hoss.

The man’s name was not released.

Deputies and detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit are investigating the incident that happened shortly before noon.

A press release said custody officers were serving lunches when they noticed an inmate from one of the “pods” was missing.

“Another inmate was asked to check the shared shower area and the victim was found hanging in a shower stall,” the news release said.

Custody officers’ attempts to revive the man were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at about 11:56 a.m., the sheriff’s office said.

The man had been in the jail since June 30 and he was awaiting an initial court appearance.

A Clark County report given earlier this year noted there were 18 suicide attempts in 2011 in the jail; one inmate died.

Figures for 2012 were not available Sunday, Hoss said.

Between 2007 and 2011, the jail “continues to be heavily impacted by special-needs inmates: the mentally ill, geriatric, physically or mentally challenged or violent,” according to the report. “Suicide attempts in the jail have continued to rise, more than doubling since 2007.”

Sheriff’s Cmdr. Mike Anderson said in early June that after each attempt or suicide the custody staff reviews what happened and what could have been done to prevent the incident.

“When you have as many people as we do in custody with mental health issues, you just never know who is going to do it,” Anderson said. “The difficult part is that we have to be right 100 percent of the time. They only have to be right once.”