Confinement and Detention Facility Death
Death in a confinement facility is an event that has an impact on staff and inmates as well as the family and friends of the deceased. The detention or confinement facility, and the officers in charge, can incur civil as well as criminal charges due to such deaths. It is critical that detention officers, police and supervisors of city, county and state agencies are properly trained in the prevention and, if needed, proper investigation of a death that occurs within an detention facility.
Coroner and medical examiner investigators must be familiar with local policies and prevention standards as well as proper investigative protocol before a death occurs. After a death within a detention or confinement facility, it will be the C/ME investigators job to determine the cause and manner of the death. This determination can have major implication on the officers working the facility as well as the agency itself. It is vital C/ME investigators become and stay familiar with excepted standards for these investigations.
Preserving evidence is a critical factor in performing an effective investigation. Because the detention officer is often the first one on the scene, it is important the officer understands the proper steps to take to preserve the evidence, notify the appropriate authorities and assist in the investigation as needed. This course takes the participant through the steps of a death scene investigation.
Suicide is a critical issue in today’s jails. Studies have shown that the rate of suicide in local city and county jails is much greater than that of the general population. As our jail population continues to grow, the risk of suicide becomes greater. The increase in incidents of suicide emphasizes the need for adequately trained officers.
To deal with the increasing risk of inmate suicide, officers must be trained to identify the warning signs of a suicide attempt and be prepared to respond with the appropriate action. Jail officers must also recognize the consequences that arise because of failure to respond and render treatment when such action is indicated. The officer and the agency can incur liability under certain circumstances. To avoid such liability, the officers should be aware of the position that the courts have historically taken regarding the occurrence of suicides in county jails. This makes it important to review past cases involving suicide and be familiar with the court rulings.
Each time this seminar is offered, details such as dates, time, location, registration fees, continuing education units (CEUs) offered and relevant instructor information will be available on the registration form found in the calendar.