Man kills self at Macomb Jail; 3rd suicide since start of 2017
3rd suicide of the year is also the 2nd suicide of the week at Macomb County Jail
Correction: This story has been updated to correct Oakland County suicide numbers and other information.
In what was the third suicide at Macomb County Jail since the start of 2017 — and the second suicide within one week's time — a 34-year-old man fatally hung himself at the Mount Clemens-based jail on Wednesday.
All three suicides this year have been done by way of hanging.
Macomb Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, in a statement issued Thursday afternoon, promised reforms: “Due to the recent events, inmate checks and counts are being conducted every 30 minutes by Corrections Deputies which is above and beyond what is mandated by law."
The third suicide at the county jail this year is the fourth in the last four years. There was one in 2015, but none in 2014 or 2016.
The man who hanged himself Wednesday had been jailed since July 10 on charges of criminal sexual conduct and possession of more than 25 grams of a controlled substance.
The 49-year-old man who hung himself on July 22 had been jailed since July 13 on charges of driving while intoxicated, failure to stop after a collision, and driving on a suspended or revoked license.
The 28-year-old woman who hanged herself on May 6 had been jailed since March 31 on charges of solicitation of murder, tampering with an electronic device, and contempt of court.
Wickersham, in his statement, explained how inmate housing assignments are determined. Upon intake, inmates are screened by medical staff and placed with regard for their "physical and mental health issues," among other information. In most cases, inmates are housed with others of the same classification. Well-being checks are conducted every 50 minutes.
Macomb is not the only county in Southeast Michigan with inmate suicide issues. Wayne County has had eight inmates commit suicide at the Wayne County Jail since the start of 2016, and follows similar inmate classification and housing protocols. Meanwhile, Oakland County hasn't had a suicide at its jail since May 2014and has had only 12 in the last 28 years, according to Undersheriff Michael McCabe.
Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties all contract with the same firm, Correct Care Solutions. The company provides jailhouse medical care and mental health services for Wayne and Macomb and provides medical care at the Oakland County Jail. Oakland handles its mental health care in-house at the jail.