Law program probes Calif. jail over attempted suicide

A civil rights law clinic is looking into the events surrounding an attempted suicide at the Yuba County Jail on Oct. 26


By Monica Vaughan
Appeal-Democrat

YUBA COUNTY, Calif. — A civil rights law clinic is looking into the events surrounding an attempted suicide at the Yuba County Jail on Oct. 26.

An inmate attempted suicide by hanging at about 1:25 a.m. in a dorm housing unit with a 20-person capacity, according to Undersheriff Jerry Read.

County officials would not release the man's name or status of medical treatment, citing confidentiality requirements under the Welfare and Institutions Code, HIPPA and other regulations.

Read said that due to the quick actions of fellow inmates and correctional staff, the man is expected to survive and is under guard.

Carter C. White, supervising attorney of the King Hall Civil Rights Clinic at UC Davis, is looking into the matter, because "we want to make sure that emergencies are being addressed in an appropriate and timely manner."

He does not yet have any information about the specific details of the incident.

The clinic represents plaintiffs — all inmates who are incarcerated in the jail for more than 48 hours — in a class action lawsuit regarding conditions in the jail. The suit was filed in the late 1970s.

He said through interviews with inmates in jail, they've received reports that some of the areas of the jail lack adequate warning systems or call buttons.

"We believe it is important that if any inmate suicide attempt can be prevented, it should be," he said.

Copyright 2014 the Appeal-Democrat

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