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Review underway into Marion County Jail suicides

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Posted at 9:59 AM, Jan 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 09:59:13-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Call 6 Investigates has learned more information about an examination underway to study suicides in the Marion County jail that have occurred since 2010.

A review committee met Wednesday for a preliminary meeting and will be touring all of the facilities within the Marion County Jail within the next few weeks, according to department spokesperson Katie Carlson.

The committee is comprised of the following individuals:

  • David Wantz - Indianapolis Public Safety Director
  • Daniel O’Donnell, M.D. - Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine, Medical Director IEMS/IFD
  • Dr. Virginia Caine - Marion County Board of Health
  • Captain Andrew Abney-Brotz - Jail Commander Wayne County Sheriff’s Office
  • Bill Wilson - Indiana Sheriffs’ Association (previously jail commander of Monroe County Sheriff’s Office)

The committee members will also be meeting with the jail’s executive staff and Correct Care Solutions, the medical service provide contracted with the jail.

The review is expected to take about 30 days, but it’s unclear when a report will be issued.

The Marion County Jail made national headlines last year when former Indianapolis gymnastics coach Marvin Sharp committed suicide while in the jail.

PREVIOUS | Autopsy reveals cause of death for gymnastics coach

Just last week, an attorney filed a wrongful death lawsuit just filed in federal court alleging the Marion County Sheriff’s Department fails to prevent suicides and doesn’t properly supervise and care for inmates.

DeJuan Shepherd committed suicide on January 23, 2014, while awaiting trial for auto theft, records show.

His attorney, Eric Pavlack, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on January 21, 2016 alleging Shepherd was suffering from heroin and alcohol withdrawals, and was also screened for bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and severe anxiety.

PREVIOUS | Federal lawsuit: Jail fails to prevent suicides

As Call 6 Investigates has reported, Marion County reported six in-custody deaths in 2015, most of them suicides.

PREVIOUS | CALL 6: County jail deaths down, still twice state average

Pavlack filed a similar wrongful death lawsuit in federal court last month regarding the December 2014 suicide of Mark Snyder, who was in the Marion County jail awaiting trial for child molestation charges.

Snyder was found hanging from a clothes hook with a bed sheet around his neck on December 3, 2014.

His widow questioned why her husband had access to materials to commit suicide, including a hook.

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