Two Attempted Suicides in Two Weeks at the Alachua County Jail
GAINESVILLE - After two attempted suicides in two weeks at the Alachua County Jail one man has died and another is in the hospital in critical condition.
The sheriff's office reports there have been more attempted suicides at the jail this year than last, and the latest suicide attempt comes despite the fact the inmate was under close observation.
20 year-old Miguel Hernandez was arrested Sunday on a warrant out of Illinois for not registering as a sex offender; then on Tuesday morning he was found hanging in his cell.
The sheriff's office says when he was booked, they placed him in a close observation cell from information they obtained after questiong him.
I asked if this meant the man was under suicide watch...but that was not confirmed.
As Hernandez remains in the hosptial...the sheriff's office has learned that an inmate who was found hanging from a bed sheet in his cell on September 28th...died in the hosptial sometime between October 8th and the 11th.
While in the hospital, he was released from custody during the time of his death.
But in the current inmate's situation who was in the close observation cell...I asked if he was being checked on frequently...how was he able to hang himself so quickly?
Art Forgey, Alachua County Sheriff's Office: "When they're in close observation like this they are checked on very frequently at a set amount of time part of the surveillance that we do there and I wont tell you the time frame but they are checked on very frequently and its to ensure their safety and make sure they are alright."
In 2012, 8 inmates attemped suicide and in 2013 so far this year there have been 15 attempts.
Attempts are classified as anything as minor as a cut to hanging as in these two cases.
Sheriff's deputies say they plan to take Hernandez back to Illinois when and if he makes it out of the hospital.
They say the next steps going forward are to conduct two separate investigations to see what changes...if any...need to be done at the jail.
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