Sheriff fires 6, suspends 29 over treatment of mentally ill prisoner
On Friday, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia fired six jailers and suspended 29 others a year and a half after a mentally ill prisoner was found festering in squalor in a Harris County jail cell. It appeared that the prisoner was in such condition in the cell for weeks. This decision taken by the department is the largest disciplinary action taken recently by officials.
Deterrius Terry Rashad Goodwin was found confined to a cell at Harris County jail and was suffering from a mental problem. According to investigators, cell was infested with bugs and filled with faeces and deputies and jailers didn’t pay attention to that.
According to Sheriff Adrian Garcia, "The investigation indicated that problems were reported to supervisors and ultimately supervisors failed to act and to take immediate corrective actions. When employees fail to take action when it results conditions that no inmate should be subjected to then this discipline is called for”.
Due to internal investigation a Chief Deputy resigned, 6 jail employees were fired, 29 were suspended and a Major over housing at the Harris County jail was also demoted. Two sergeants accused criminally earlier this year for falsifying documents and claiming that they looked over Goodwin's filthy cell, were also terminated.
Major changes have been made in the jail together with many new programs. These programs have been introduced to assure that no mentally ill inmates are living in a cell filled with faeces. Dr. Janice Beal is a psychotherapist has been hired by Garcia to check mentally ill detainees at the jail. According to her, if there is a problem in middle of the night, she and her staff can be contacted on a 24 hour basis 7 days a week.
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