County inmate attempts suicide
Issue Date: 10/3/2012
Last Updated: 10/3/2012 1:18:42 PM | By Daniel Martynowicz
POLSON — Lake County Jail inmate Richard Davis attempted to hang himself in the Lake County Jail Sept. 25.
According to Undersheriff Daniel Yonkin, Davis was being held on a probation violation charge stemming from an original charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs. On Sept. 12 at 9:45 a.m., Davis tried to escape after a bond hearing in District Court by running down the courthouse stairs. He was stopped by detention officers before reaching the landing, and was subsequently charged with attempted escape, a felony.
Davis was on a supervisory watch when the suicide attempt took place. Yonkin explained that a supervisory watch is not a medical or suicide watch, but is instead used in cases of destructive inmates.
“It’s used in cases of problem inmates who vandalize the cell, cover the camera with toilet paper, things like that,” Yonkin said.
Davis was checked on every 15 minutes. In between two of these checks, he was able to get an article of clothing around his neck and strangle himself. He was unconscious when law enforcement officers entered the cell and was immediately transported to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Polson where he was treated and released.
Davis continues to be held in Lake County Jail and is now on suicide watch.
I received notification of this with this message attached.
Interestingly, the jails and prisons in Montana do not have to report attempts, only the ones that end in the death, so my point is that there is a lot of this going on that the public is not aware of. And the jails operate in a way that only serves at the convenience of the jailers with total disregard for those it incarcerates. It was stated a few weeks ago that Missoula County was holding a severely mentally ill inmate and refused to give him the necessary medications that would stabilize him. I suspect this suicidal inmate was mentally ill too that is why they had him in isolation and checking on him every 15 minutes. Because my son Colton has had horrible experience in this Lake County Jail, I can tell you with certainty that both jail doctors, Steve Erwin and Vincent River will not provide or prescribe necessary medications including pain management.
While Colton was in this jail after he was thrown out of Boot Camp, he was decompensated mentally because of the lack of his psych-meds but then on September 18th 2009 began to pass a kidney stone and was thrown into isolation, told to shut up and given Tylenol for the pain. No one would tell him what was wrong. He was so scared and was acting up pretty bad yelling and screaming. I learned about this from the jailers and another inmate there who knew my older son. Anyway because I am familiar with kidney stones, (family history) I told him that kidney stones was the problem and if it happened again to not be so scared. He explained that it felt like a knife was sticking him in his back and no one would listen. http://montanacorruption.org/testimonies-of-the-incarcerated/colton-wilson/
This is true, jails do not notify the family of an inmate that the inmate is on suicide watch only until the inmate attempts suicide or has committed suicide. A jailer specifically told us this from the Boulder Jail. With all of the suicides that are successful and for all of the attempted suicides just how many are put on suicide watch and yet we hear nothing of it until it is too late? And even then there have been many where nothing has been said about it at all. Shame.