Rogers County Jail Stepping Up Efforts To Prevent Suicides

Thursday, September 6th 2018, 6:05 pm
By: News On 6

The Rogers County Sheriff's Office is stepping up efforts to prevent suicides in their jail.

With hundreds of people inside the jail right now, deputies said there are not enough resources to help those who struggle with mental health.

For years, Captain Kellie Guess has worked at the Rogers County Jail. In one week, she said she witnessed at least three inmates who threatened to commit suicide.

"We've had quite a few that aren't on their meds, that are refusing to take their meds and are claiming that they're suicidal," Guess said.

Guess said there are about 300 inmates inside the jail and there are not enough resources to protect inmates struggling with mental health from harming themselves.

"Monday or Tuesday we had quite a few who had said they were suicidal, and we don't have enough equipment. We have to get that equipment so we are able to put them in the right clothing, so they don't harm themselves or harm someone else,” she said.

Sheriff Scott Walton said, "We find ourselves struggling to stay up with the basic needs equipment that we need like suicide smocks.”

The sheriff said they're seeing an increase in calls to help those with mental health issues, but with few resources and low staffing levels, Walton said they can only continue to do what they can to keep everyone safe.

"We're not the doctors. We're not the ones that will make them well. We're the band-aid approach to keep those people from hurting themselves or somebody else," he said.

Walton said he's also working with mental health organizations to get inmates the help they need.