TX Jail Where Bland Died Violated Rules; Autopsy Confirms Suicide


The Texas Commission on Jail Standards has found the Waller County Jail, the 110-bed lockup where 28-year-old Sandra Bland was found hanging from a plastic bag July 13, out of compliance with state jail regulations at least five times since 2009, reports the Dallas Morning News. Some were major red flags that experts say could indicate lax security protocols and ineffective management. After a 2012 suicide, the jail was cited for the same violation that occurred when Bland died: failure to regularly observe the inmate. “That, to me, is symbolic that staff-wise, there's just something not quite right,” said Ana Yanez-Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition. “They're not quite on top of things.”

Sheriff Glenn Smith said he is seeking the creation of a commission to review the jail's procedures, evaluate personnel and discuss community relations. “The death of any person in the custody of any governmental entity should experience great scrutiny and be thoroughly investigated by an outside source,” he said. Bland’s autopsy showed her injuries were consistent with suicide. Warren Diepraam, a prosecutor in the Waller County district attorney's office, said yesterday the autopsy indicates that Bland hanged herself. He said Bland had no defensive injuries on her hands that would typically indicate a struggle and the marks around her neck were consistent with a suicide by hanging. The Texas Tribune reported that 140 of the 502 deaths in Texas jails since 2009 have been suicides.

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