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Challenge of Dealing with Mentally Ill Detainees in Jail

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Cook County Sheriff
Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart today announced a jail detainee, 45 year old Ricardo Diaz, arrested on August 20th for armed robbery, attempted suicide Monday and was found unresponsive by officers at 9am. Sheriff Dart says Diaz was transported immediately to a local hospital, where he remained in critical condition until he was pronounced deceased at 6:15pm Tuesday evening.
Sheriff Dart says the jail is operating at near capacity, with a growing population of mentally ill detainees, many who previously received treatment in shuttered mental health facilities. The Sheriff says while managing the jail's mental health situation presents tremendous challenges to a correctional facility that was never envisioned to operate as a mental health hospital, his office is providing advanced mental health training to correctional officers, including how to identify suicidal detainees.
Sheriff Dart says Mr. Diaz's death marks the fourth suicide of the year at the jail, a rate far below the national jail average.
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