Jail Fails to Stop Suicide of 22-year-old Inmate

Jan 10th, 2010 | By | Category: Pretrial Detention, San Jacinto County

Sheriff Walters of San Jacinto County Jail stated that the family did not notify the jail of an inmate’s suicidal tendencies. Oddly enough, he also says, “Everyone involved has been disciplined and we are looking to get things back to normal.” Does that mean that the jail was at least partially at fault? Also, if the Sheriff were to ask the family of the 22 year old who died, they would probably tell him nothing was going to get “back to normal” for a long time.

Texas Commission on Jail Standards issued a notice of non-compliance to San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner and Sheriff James Walters in a letter dated July 15. According to the letter, the county jail fails to comply with minimum standards established by law and that appropriate corrective measures must be initiated upon receipt of a notice dated July 14 to the county from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. The notice states that the county must “ensure that each inmate is observed face to face at least every hour by a corrections offi cer and maintain records for commission review.”

The non-compliance report was made following the July 11 suicide of a 22-year-old Louisiana man found hanging in his jail cell. According to Sheriff Walters, the body of Mark McIlwain was found by a jailer around 11 p.m. Saturday, July 11. McIlwain was arrested on his way through San Jacinto County on Hwy. 59 and incarcerated on drug charges, according to Walters.
Although McIlwain’s family indicated that he had problems, Walters said he was not on suicide watch while in the county jail. “The family didn’t notify us of any problems,” Walters said. Walters said, “Everyone involved has been disciplined and we are looking to get things back to normal.” According to Walters, measures have been taken to correct the problems at the jail. “We’ve had a problem with timing because of our work load,” Walters said. According to Walters there is generally between 60 and 80 inmates incarcerated in the jail.

COLDSPRING — San Jacinto News-Times – Local News

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13 Comments to “Jail Fails to Stop Suicide of 22-year-old Inmate”

  1. Anonymous says:

    hmm….not surprising

    • admin says:

      I welcome all comments, but I have to say, I see this “Hmmm, not surprising” comment so often on many websites and ours, and it’s always frustrating.
      It seems to also be saying “Big whoop” or “What else is new?”
      Just because it isn’t a surprise or new doesn’t mean it’s not important. None of us are “surprised” by death and mayhem and mental illness and suicides in jails, but instead of saying “not surprising,” how about: “Our sympathy to the family. I hope the family contacts Texas Jail Project about their loss. This is a death that probably could have been prevented. Let’s take it seriously and learn from it. Can this sheriff change policies and practices to prevent the next suicide?”

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the father of Marc McILwain, First of all i want to thank you i just found your site and read the article i have Civil Rights attorney working on the case and we go to trail in Federal court in Houston on Dec 3, 2012 as of right now. If i could help anyone else with this county i will also if you look back if think it was April 20, 2011 a man from Livingston died in their jail of what was ruled an accidental over dose of hydicodon (Laratab)

    • Anonymous says:

      My deepest sympathies go out to the family of this young man. I also have a young son incarcerated and really took this tragedy personal. God bless you during you’re time of mourn and I will keep you in prayer.

      • Anonymous says:

        We thank you so much for your comment we are still fighting the court is trying every which way to help them get out of it. We just want to know what happened and keep anyone else from going thru this nightmare.

    • Anonymous says:

      i got the blocked call please call back

      • Anonymous says:

        HPD and the Harris County Sheriff’s department can help reduce jail overcrowding today by simply choosing to issue citations for marijuana possession instead of making arrests. Given the current economic situation, every state would benefit economically from decriminalization of drug possession.

  3. Anonymous says:

    To who it may concern the person with block call about the death of 22 year old male that died in 2009 please please call back .

  4. Charles Alexander says:

    The San Jacinto county jail said, there were no communications by the family of suicidal mindset. I am paraphrasing here. Well, what about the previous suicide attempt while incarcerated. Prior to the successful “suicide”. The Marc had attempted to cut his wrist. The bandages were witnessed by family during a jail visit. I want to know, how you dont know someone is suicidal when, they attempt suicide in your facility? That seems odd to me. Also, the coroner and independent pathologist hired by the family show levels of 990ng/ml of sertraline (zoloft) I’m his system at the time of death. Well, let’s see, zoloft is an anti-depressant that he was prescribed while in custody. That seems like a red flag. Also, how did he get that much in his system? Zoloft is lethal at levels of around 550-600 ng/ml. These seem like questions that need to be answered. My cousin has a mother, father, son, and brothers who want to know what happened. It’s not a grab for cash. It is a crusade for answers. It is a crusade for justice. My cousin may have made mistakes in his life but, he did not deserve this.

    • Donald McILWAIN says:

      To correct my nephew he had 990 mg of Prozac in his system and 2400 mg of Zoloft he also had Seriquial, Adivan and benidril not sure i’m spelling them right. But if anyone reads this and knows anything we would still like to know
      what happen to our son. my number is 318-393-2370.

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