An inmate who was found hanging in his cell last weekend at San Diego Central Jail has died, according to a statement from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The 52-year-old inmate, whose identity is being withheld, was pronounced dead Thursday at 6:34 p.m. His death was “due to the severity of his injuries,” according to the sheriff’s statement.
Detentions deputies conducting a security check found the man hanging and unresponsive shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday, sheriff’s Lt. Michael Blevins said.
On-site medical staff performed CPR on the stricken inmate until paramedics arrived, took over the lifesaving efforts and transported him to a trauma center.
The inmate survived but remained hospitalized, and information about his condition was not released until shortly after his death.
He was housed by himself in a medical observation cell at the time of the hanging and had spoken to a nurse about a half-hour earlier; a deputy had checked on him less than 10 minutes after the medical staffer’s visit, Blevins said.
“No issues were noted at either time,” he said.
The inmate had been jailed on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and being under the influence of a controlled substance. It was unclear why he was in medical observation status while in the downtown lockup facility.
He was arrested May 16 by San Diego police and booked into jail, according to Blevins. The lieutenant said he could disclose no details on how the hanging occurred, or whether the inmate was on suicide watch at the time.
More than 30 inmates have taken their own lives at area detention centers since 2010, a frequency that “far outpaces other county jail systems in the state,” according to the study by Disability Rights California.
The organization urged San Diego County officials to institute a number of policy and training changes to address the issue.
For its part, the county Sheriff’s Department, which runs the region’s seven jails, called the findings “misleading” and based on “a fundamentally flawed approach in comparing suicide data from different jail systems.”
–Staff, wire reports
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