MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ) – Inmates are now being checked on and counted every half hour after a troubling increase in suicides at the Macomb County Jail.
Among the dead over the last three months are a 28-year-old St. Clair Shores woman arrested on a charges of solicitation of murder, a 49-year-old man arrested for an alleged drunk driving hit-and-run, and a 34-year-old man arrested for drugs and criminal sexual conduct.
All three were white, the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office said, and all three hanged themselves.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the every-30-minute checks are above and beyond what is mandated by law.
“We regret to inform our community that these events have occurred and are doing everything we can to prevent future incidents,” he added, in a statement.
The Macomb County Jail has had four suicides in the last four years: zero in 2014, one in 2015, zero in 2016, and now these three in 2017.
The sheriff’s office says, upon entering the Macomb County Jail, inmates are screened by medical staff who determine physical and mental health issues according to the information provided by the inmate. These outcomes along with other factors determine the inmate’s housing placement. In the general population, these checks are made by corrections deputies every 50 minutes. If there are concerns, these checks are made more frequently.
The jail has been under fire over the deaths of two men who overdosed and the death of a woman who died behind bars of a virus in 2013.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately return a call by WWJ Newsradio 950 for further comment.