From Jeffrey R. Gahler:
Dear Harford County Readers,
On January 26, 2013, the Harford County Detention Center was the scene of yet another death. This was the ninth death of an inmate under Sheriff Bane’s watch and the ninth death while in custody within a protected environment. Any loss of life is tragic and every effort must be made to ensure the safety of those individuals under the supervision of Sheriff Bane while being held at the Detention Center, even if that protection is from themselves. It is Sheriff Bane’s basic responsibility to protect people in his custody from harm and to uphold their constitutional rights. As Sheriff Bane proclaims on his website “The primary purpose of the Detention Center is to provide care, custody and safety of the prisoners and staff.”
Nine in custody deaths in a state-of-the-art facility, not considered structurally deficient in any way, would lead one to look at leadership and official support or absence thereof. It has been publically reported that Sheriff Bane has continually failed to fill the position of warden with a correctional professional with necessary expertise responsible for command and control while creating and filling non-essential and non-operational positions within his office. Troubled facilities like the Harford County Detention Center require qualified leadership to ensure the safety of staff and inmates. Continued inaction will wear down sound correctional order and solidly implant an unsafe environment at the center. Immediate reforms are called for to protect life and maintain control.
Transparency leads to trust. Sheriff Bane’s lack of candor and transparency in his failure to publically provide timely and accurate information to the citizens of Harford County is concerning. Media, on behalf of the public, requested additional incident specific information from the Office of the Sheriff concerning the latest death. Initial reports of an attempted suicide at the Detention Center were not met with additional information until 11 days later when the death was confirmed, not by the Sheriff as has traditionally been the norm, but by the Harford County Department of Law.
In an apparent response to litigation and challenges associated with the Detention Center deaths, Sheriff Bane found it necessary to promulgate new rules and regulations concerning the release of information pertaining to deaths at the Detention Center that further clouds transparency. The Dagger reported the following:
“Beyond the Sheriff’s Office initial release, requests by The Dagger for updates on Miller’s condition went unanswered until four days later. On Jan. 29, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Edward Hopkins said the agency would now follow a new policy regarding all deaths at the Detention Center, under which it would release initial details and then refer further questions to the Harford County Law Department and McCord. The policy was implemented at the direction of Sheriff Jesse Bane over concerns of “possible future litigation” in such cases.”
(Source: DaggerPress, Feb. 6, 2013).
As the above was an odd response to a representative of the public by an Officer elected by the public, I submitted a Public Information Act (PIA) request to Sheriff Bane to obtain additional information on Mr. Miller’s death. The PIA specifically requested a copy of the new policy mentioned by the Sheriff’s release to the Dagger and any internal record keeping that demonstrated the date this policy was instituted and shared with members of the Detention Center Staff. On February 27th, I received a reply from the Office of the Sheriff to my PIA request. The reply indicates there are “no records responsive to my request,” causing me to assume that perhaps this “new policy” does not actually exist. So much for integrity and transparency.
Curiously, on the same date I received the reply to my PIA from the Office of the Sheriff, and after the Sheriff refused requests for information from the Dagger concerning Mr. Miller’s case, the Aegis contained the following headline, “Harford sheriff’s office confirms man died after trying to hang himself in jail.” Contradicting his Public Information Officer’s earlier statement that Sheriff Bane directed implementation of a policy restricting the release of information pertaining to Detention Center deaths, the Office of the Sheriff released the following:
“A Harford Detention Center inmate, who had attempted suicide at the jail, died late last month, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed”
(Source: The Aegis, February 27, 2013).
Perhaps the most telling fact of all can also be found in the same Aegis story in the following quote, “Judge Carr was advised on 1/26/13 that while incarcerated Defendant attempted suicide and was still alive but considered ‘clinically dead.’”(Source: The Aegis, February 27, 2013). Sheriff Bane attempted to hide this death and again cloud transparency, as he has been called out doing in the past, and worked hard to find creative workarounds like his “new policy” for more than a month when he knew Mr. Miller was clinically dead at the time of the incident.
In a letter following the eighth death in November 2012, I closed with a challenge to Sheriff Bane that he hire a qualified warden as a vital first step to begin to address the host of issues occurring at the Detention Center. Since that time, he has hired a new public information officer, hired an assistant for his public information officer, expanded his at-will command positions on the law enforcement side, has attempted to establish his own Legal Unit and has kept busy by hiding behind a non-existent “new policy.” Through these actions, it certainly appears Sheriff Bane is more focused on defending himself than preventing future deaths at the jail.
The issue has been and remains clear. Leadership in the form of a qualified warden is needed at the Detention Center. The administration at the center is broken and unresponsive effective staffing has not been addressed and employee morale is all but gone. Instead of addressing the issues, Sheriff Bane choses to try “smoke and mirrors” to mask incompetence. The problem with “smoke and mirrors” is that when someone blows the smoke away or looks behind the mirror they see the truth and that truth is that Sheriff Bane continues to fail the men and women at the Detention Center and the in custody population.
Jeffrey R. Gahler
2014 Republican Candidate for Harford County Sheriff
Guess I am changing my vote for sheriff. Gahler makes some valid points and guess we are going to get some smoke and mirrors from this administration.
I agree! I only hope that Trooper Gahler keeps to his word, once elected, and remains as transparent as he promises.
While not comparing the two in any way, I seem to recall another person promising the “most transparent administration”. If you don’t recall that statement, it was the current President. Hmm, guess that worked out well since he has only managed to “Pull a Bane” and block public access to any of his educational records, birth records, or any other public records that are usually freely available by anyone.
I guess Bane is learning through the country’s current leadership – lead through deception, and blame?!?!?!
Spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam, Baked Beans, Eggs and Spam
Are you all applying for Mr Gahler’s New Ministry of Silly Walks when he gets elected?
guess you like status quo and spam back at ya.
Because must be the new assistant media person with such a detailed rebuttal of Mr. Gahler’s facts.
Michael Dorn says
I caught the reference.LOL
J Edgar says
Because, they work for Gahler and can’t wait for him to post.
Hey J Edgar,
Is there something in Jeff’s points that you disagree with. Bane’s actions seems clear to me and are indicative of Jesse Bane’s behavior since I started following him six years ago…. This is nothing new for Bane. The Mark Forwood situation is another example of Bane’s hide and seek behavior..
Kingfish, whoever you are, get the vote out early.
Mike Welsh says
I have commented on many previous articles that the Harford County Detention Center has significant leadership/management issues. The financial liability exposure to the citizens of Harford County is huge. Sheriff Bane’s refusal to install a competent effective leadership team at the Detention Center is tragic, for both officers and staff as well as the inmate population. One day soon the citizens of Harford County will pay an incredible price for Sheriff Bane’s lack of leadership at the HCDC.
I applauded the selection of Mr. Ed Hopkins as Public Information Officer for the Sheriff’s Office. Needless to say I am extremely disappointed with his apparent complicity in Sheriff Bane’s policy of misinformation and deception. The citizens of Harford County deserve better.
Republican Voter says
Mr. Welsh, I have the same concerns about what these deaths at the Detention Center are eventually going to cost us taxpayers. Bane is not appointing a Warden so he can save money within his budget? Incredible and totally irresponsible. The County Executive and the County Council members are also responsible for holding the Sheriff to a level of responsibility that protects the taxpayers, the inmates and the Correctional Officers. Holding this Sheriff accountable for his actions is in the voters hands. The next election is in 2014 for that office. Hopefully the accountability for this Sheriff’s incompetence will be judged then. Unfortunately the death count at the jail will continue to rise for another year and a half because of his ineptness.
Bane has no interest in trying to save money in the budget. If he did, he would ensure that patrol was properly staffed so that their overtime budget wasn’t blown halfway through the fiscal year just to meet the bare minimum staffing requirements each shift, wouldn’t be creating new command staff positions, and wouldn’t be throwing money down the hole that is CALEA.
Dan Thompson says
Bane says he can’t afford a warden in his budget and yet Gahler just demonstrated in his last letter that he found $330,000 for new command positions. What is that, just more smoke and mirrors.
I have followed the dagger for a while but I have never felt the need to comment before until now. I can’t believe this hasn’t made national news headlines – 9 inmate deaths during the current Sheriff’s Administation – that is beyond tragic! Then to find out there is not a warden at the jail while the Sheriff wants to make a new legal advisor position for a current major – I guess we know why – there will probably be a good many lawsuits coming out of this many deaths at the detention center! I am disgusted that I voted for Bane the first time he ran – a mistake I didn’t make during the last election and one I will never make again!
Marc Eaton says
When you have the Sleagis who is a left leaning paper covering for you it is not hard. We have been bringing up the dishonest and underhanded way Bane has run this department from day one. It is good to see Gahler’s PIA and the response from Bane. Bane has not learned anything from Obama and the new Royal family, Bane has practiced this since I have known him. I would hope people reading this would realize that there is a serious problem with Bane and what he has done to their Sheriff’s Department.
Still waiting to see where Bane stands on the new attempt to take guns away from law abiding citizens. Maybe he will have the van on the parking lot of the old Edgewood Sheriff’s Office handing out free cell phones to sway the voters of Harford County on this issue.
Cover ups will continue by L J Bane.
Mr. Gahler or Mr. Bane if you care to answer,
Nine deaths in six years is very concerning and should be to any tax payer within Harford County. Clearly there are instances where deaths will occur; this should be the exception, not the norm. There are a few points raised in this letter that need additional clarification. I took the time to research the Public Information Act (PIA). The PIA act was developed to prevent the government from “hiding” pertinent and critical information from the public. Police agencies are exempt from providing information during an active investigation to maintain the integrity of the investigation and privacy of those involved. However, once this in-custody prisoner passed, I can’t imagine that a “suicide” would take weeks, even months to investigate. The excuse of withholding information because of a potential law suit, I believe is not covered within the PIA. If this was the case, all information could be withheld with the mere explanation of a potential law suit. Can this denial of public information be litigiated.
I am curious to know what the rate of deaths at the detention center vs. daily jail population for past Sheriff’s have been. I would like to see a comparison of apples to apples which will shed some light on this issue. In addition, I seem to recall in the past there were some questionable deaths, specifically centered on policy, procedure, or staff actions within the past six years; however, we hear nothing more of these deaths and their circumstances. Specifically the man that was arrested for trespassing but yet died in custody, which I believe happened within the past three years.
It appears that the general public has a short memory because I do not understand why there is not more of an outrage over this simple statistic. One would assume if it was a jail leadership issue that once Elwood DeHaven, a former Warden, retired; that the deaths would have stopped, or at least slowed down. It has been just the opposite which leads me to believe there is a complete breakdown in the leadership at the jail and by the Sheriff as well. At what point are all of these deaths investigated by a federal agency? Bane boasts of an accredited jail; does that mean you have to have so many deaths in order to be accredited? I think not.
Again, for the blindly following Mr. Bane supporters, I challenge you to do your own homework and not just follow Mr. Gahler or any media outlet’s reporting. I am willing to bet that you will find the same information as listed in this and any other article. If not, please post so that we may all be enlightened by what you discover.
“Specifically the man that was arrested for trespassing but yet died in custody, which I believe happened within the past three years.”
Well, that guy attacked a couple of CO’s (and was trying to choke one of them) as they were trying to escort him to the commissioner, and was subsequently tased. Unfortunately he hit his head when he fell. I believe it’s all on tape, though I couldn’t say for sure.
As far as the accreditation goes..I can’t imagine there’s any possible way a leaderless jail that is vastly understaffed with repeated mandatory overtime shifts for many officers (which quickly leads to officer burnout and makes it less safe for everyone inside the walls), and this many deaths over the past few can stay accredited. If it does then the accreditation standards have to be pretty pathetic.
And while all this other crap is going on, you have commanders more worried about officers walking from their cars into the jail in uniform wearing black knit hats that aren’t agency issued (nevermind the fact that it’s winter and freezing cold outside and that CO’s don’t get issued knit hats) than they are making sure the jail is as safe as it can be. However, it is ok for commanders to walk into the jail in uniform wearing pink scarves. After all, it is cold outside.
It’s no wonder morale is so low and only getting lower both in corrections and in law enforcement.
Funny how it isn’t just the HCSO that has some of thier priorities out of whack! Getting scolded for “being out of uniform” because you are wearing a black knit hat instead of the issued headgear is certainly something Commander’s should be paying attention to (sarcasm).
The accreditation is nothing more than a paperwork drill, see here from the website:
“The Harford County Detention Center, one of three facilities in Maryland to achieve the American Correctional Association Accreditation, is governed by written directives as promulgated by the Sheriff. The facility and its staff are required to meet and maintain 100% compliance of the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards (MCCS) — a feat they achieve consistently. It is one of a few correctional facilities statewide that has earned six consecutive Recognition of Achievement Awards presented by the MCCS — meeting 100% of the standards 100% of the time. While the primary purpose of the Detention Center is to provide care, custody and safety of the prisoners and staff, it also offers a variety of programs to inmate. These programs provide inmates an opportunity to maintain and improve their physical, emotional, and psychological wellbeing upon re-integration into the Harford County community. ”
Written directives…nothing more than a paperwork drill to get a certificate on the wall of the Sheriff’s Office.
I find it rather appaling that the Sheriff can provide funding for not only one Public Affairs position, but even more for an assistant to that position. Why would they need an assistant? I’ll bet that position could be cut, and another deputy funded.
Mike Welsh says
Why would the HCSO need an assistant Public Information Officer you ask. Well, if you think about it, Mr. Hopkins can get very busy being Mayor of Bel Air, and Chief of the Bel Air Fire Company, both very laudable positions, however they can be very time consuming. I’m sure that Mr. Hopkins is a very busy man who doesn’t have enough time to devote his full attention to the duties of Public Information Officer. Besides, there will be an election getting in full gear starting in 2014.
Thanks for your post. My intent was never to degrade or diminish what the correcitonal officers do on a daily basis. You mention a video which could settle a perception of wrong-doing brought on by your very own “leader.” I understand you are understaffed, over worked, and under appreciated by your very own leadership; but not by the general public. Thank you for your service and keep up the good work.
Relative of "Victim #9" says
Mr. Gahler: Why does it matter who makes the announcement? The HCDC is NEVER going to share information with the public on specifics regarding the death -but- at least some of the specifics should be given to their family members. The insitution is protected by HIPPA, Correctional Codes and the Privacy Act which protects the inmates civil rights. It is up to the family of the deceased to divulge any informatin that they wish to share. The institution has to be given adequate time to collect their information, ask the needed questions and determine just what happened. The HCDC medical staff was aware that Mr. Miller was not responsive when he departed from their care.
A correction to your statement would be: A Harford County Judge, released Mr. Miller from custody on Friday, January 25th, at approximately 11:10 pm. At that time the two officers, posted at
Mr. Miller’s intensive care bed (who were prohibiting the closest of his family members to even touch his hand) were released from their duty.
Once the Judge released Mr. Miller, the HCDC had no more responsibility to anyone regarding his care or condition. From what I understand, that is the protocol that is always followed in these deaths (to diconnect as quickly as possible); it does clear the way for the family to make important medical decisions -and- it affords the HCDC an escape from the media and the public on any further explanation of the incident.
The investigative report, through the PIA (public information act) does not have to be released until the homicide investigater closes the case. That does not usually happen until after the Medical Examiner of Maryland completes and forwards his final report.
When the deceased is an organ doner, which Mr. Miller was, and an autopasy has been required the “normal” time frames are extended. Once the ME’s report is received, the investigator will close his case and requests for that report, through the PIA process, can be obtained. Most likely, you will have to make an additional request.
Regardless, that report will NEVER indicate the specifics of just what happened. Only the medical staff and guards, who provided the services to Mr. Miller, are privy to that information. Medical, psychiatric and internal reports are guarded very carefully and require legal intervention to procure. That’s what pushes families into litigation — not that they’re interested in the money — they want answers, they need answers.
The answers could be very simple and reflect no fault of the HCDC;
and if shared initially providing the families with their need to understand, litigation, media and embarrassment could be curtailed for the family and the institution. That would certainly meet one of the needs for “transeparency”.
Suicide is not chosen. It happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain. The individual has more pain than he/she can cope with in that moment — the pain is just not bearable. When pain exceeds pain coping resources the result is suicide. It’s neighter wrong or right and it’s not a defect of character. It is the unbalance of pain versus coping resources. The are are traumatic feelings of extreme emotional distress. How can someone not see when a person is in “extreme emotional distress”? Most importantly, how are the staff at HCDC trained to recognize and respond to these individuals? I know that my loved one was showing “extreme emotional distress”!
The safeguard of and dignity for human life is the real issue here. In depth understanding of what needs to happen differently is the priority issue — not when the public finds our, or who makes the news announcement.
Once again my advice to Sheriff L. Jesse Bane listen to the titanic song, that is where you are headed. This all because you deserve such, you have ruined several of my brothers and sisters careers. My question for candidate Gahler is what do you plan to do with the current command staff? In the coming months many of us hope to hear what your specific plans our, we want to support change but the same rotten apples have retained their jobs for years its time for change. We need to know what your position is on this. The command staff is not stupid they will send there wife to your campaign meeting and attend Banes meeting at the same time, Yes that has and still does happen. Maybe I speak for myself let the thumbs up/down tell the truth but almost all of the current Captains/Majors or higher need to go with a very few exceptions. There are very good and talented men and women within this department its a shame that they have to walk on pins and needles and are unable to perform there job without fear of being messed with. The job itself is hard enough, we dont need tryrant majors and other commanders messing with us to the point that we cant do our job in an effective manner. I have seen your letters in reference to Jesse Bane but would love for you to come speak in front of the union. Trust me we are all looking forward to it!
Robin Hood says
Is Fred Visnaw still connected with Jesse Bane?
Mike Welsh says
If he’s not, he should be. They are two peas in a pod.
@ Marc – I do realize you and others have been bringing up a lot of issues over the time I’ve been reading – I just get so tired of the back and forth name calling that goes on that I didn’t want to comment before of get caught up in all the drama – not sure why I have finally decided to comment except that I think this is a situation that needs to be investigated by an outside authority – 9 deaths in 6 years at any jail is completely unacceptable by all standards – especially a jail that lacks a warden to bring leadership and accountability – with a Sheriff who makes excuses of not being able to fund that position while creating a position that doesn’t need to be made (legal advisor).
@ YouNeverKnow – great insight and information. You addressed both Gahler and Bane – that is a great thing – I get tired of hearing that every time a comment is made the person is a whiner (if inside or affiliated with the Sheriff’s Office) or its campaigning (if its Gahler or his supporters that bring something up) or automatically support Bane (those who just name call and never address the information brought up) I took your challenge and looked it up – the whole Public Information Act is available on the Maryland Attorney General’s website – just google it . The interesting part is the exceptions to the PIA on page 9 (of 108) pages it states: “The vast majority of the government agencies surveyed reported either orally or in writing that they had never used the exception. In our own experience in the Attorney General’s Office, as counsel to State agencies, the exception has seldom been invoked to deny access to State records. Local governments and political subdivisions likewise reported few instances in which the exception was asserted to shield records from public disclosure.” – Guess they didn’t interview the HCSO on this one – huh?
@Jimmy – interesting insight into what is going on at the detention center – if what you say is true and this incident is indeed on video – then it should be released to the public so everyone can see what happened – if it is as you say then the video will be a confirmation that procedures were followed correctly to protect the CO’s safety as well as the prisoner’s safety – surely that would be Public Information.
@Titanic – Very interesting insights into what is happening among officers at the Sheriff’s Office. I hope you get your wish and that Gahler will be invited to your union meetings and will be welcomed there to speak – and that the officers will have open minds since I’m sure many perceive him as an outsider since he is from the State Police – I also hope this offer would extend to any other person who chooses to run for the Sheriff’s position in the next election.
J Edgar says
Yeah, you are an objective reader.
Oops – I got onto another thread and realized that there is another WOW that comments – I am not that WOW. So to the original WOW sorry!
@ J Edgar – I never said I was an objective reader – if you look at my previous comment in this thread I said I had voted for Bane the first time he ran and it was a huge mistake – so obviously I am not objective but I am also not someone who jumps on the name calling every thing the Sheriff does or says is wrong. Also why I had not previously commented on any thread despite having read on here for quite a while. Not gonna say anymore to you as I don’t need to get into a grudge match with you since I have nothing against you. Just trying to bring a perspective of a reader who feels the need to finally comment – though I don’t even know what that will do – it certainly won’t change the minds of people who already come on here just to bash either Bane and his supporters or Gahler and his supporters. Anyway just my 2 cents.
Bel Air Fed says
did the deputies’ union endorse anybody last election?
Yes, both unions endorsed Bane for a variety of reasons, but if I remember correctly the vote was relatively close and I know a lot of people voted to endorse Bane because of some of the people Gahler was associated with and refused to distance himself from even though they weren’t really thrilled about Bane and most of those probably will not vote for Bane again.
I don’t know of many deputies in corrections or law enforcement who are ready to endorse Gahler, but I know of even fewer who are ready to endorse Bane for a 3rd term. The conditions are ripe for another candidate to step up, but if anyone is going to do it, it needs to be soon. At this point I think most deputies would be willing to take a good look at just about anyone, even if they don’t have a law enforcement or corrections background.
Bel Air Fed says
Thanks for the reply. I could not remember who the deputies went for. I don’t know that much about him, except from high school days, but I would like to see somebody like Steve Moyer run – he probably couldn’t take the pay cut.
True Blue says
Is the the same Moyer who was elected to the Democratic Central Committee and the resigned his first day because a Republican became Governor? If so, does fool me once come to mind?
Despite all of the problems associated with the Bane administration at the time of the last election, Jeff Gahler’s connection to Howard Walter was enough to lose him an endorsement. In the eyes of any Harford County officer (except his two relatives in the agency) the worst thing that could happen would be to bring him back in any capacity, official or otherwise. It can not be stated clearly enough that the morale in the agency now is close to rock bottom. The administrators fail to make significant policy change while feeling productive by nit-picking at the officers. They know little to nothing about the daily operation of the facility, especially as it applies to safety, but they know every little detail about the policies that allow them to attack the rank and file. The sheriff has made his opinion clear: We are free to throw away the years we have given the agency, our time in grade, time toward our pension, etc. and go somewhere else that is better. The mindset of the officers has become one of self-preservation rather than of a team accomplishing a common goal. Jeff Gahler, should you make Sheriff you will see that reducing the number of deaths may be possible but eliminating them is not. You’ll see that filling the warden position won’t change anything until you change the attitude of the administration as a whole. Having 17 officer’s under “investigation” for trivial policy violations that could have been handled at the shift level does not show productivity of the three not-so-wisemen they call Captains. The focus of administration needs to change from 1) which door do the officers come in and out of 2)what hats/coats can we wear 3)How many hours since that officer last shaved etc etc to: How do we take control back from Dr. Stallings, get the majority of the inmates out of isolation and back to general population to keep them all alive long enough for the court system to deal with them?
Why was Mr. Gahler’s affiliation with Howard Walter such a bad thing? From the people that I know, all had said that Mr. Gahler had no plans to have Mr. Walter serve in his administration had he been elected. I do not know Mr. Walter on a personal basis, but I have had conversation with him at social events and he seems to be an intelligent, capable individual who had a distinguished career in the Sheriff’s Office prior to his retirement. Both he and his wife seem like very nice people. Why does everyone fear Mr. Walter?
It is just “Sad”, that the Deputies Union would endorse Jesse Bane. By endorsing Jesse Bane, the union endorses “cops sleeping on the job”, “cover-up of command staff screw-ups, i.e. Mark Forwood”, and political promotions and reassignments.
Hello – does anyone care about the poor people who have died in the detention and their families – the hell they have been going through since it started happening – Mr Miller supposedly asked to be put in cell by himself due to his person being threatened and his family being threatened by gang members? So he asked to be put in a safer area – right? Well guess hat – it did not work! What is being done to find out exactly what hell that poor man was going thru prior to his supposed self hanging. I’m sorry, but there is more to this story that is not being told and someone needs to take responsibility for this mans demise – it was not done willing!!!!!!!!!! Trust me!!
Mike Welsh says
Are you suggesting that Mr. Miller was killed by the hands of others? That is an incredible accusation without any proof. Do you have any proof?
No – not physically by their hands – but their unwillingness to assist in the terrible situation that caused Mr Miller to do what he did – because he saw no other way out of whatever happened to him between Wed and Fri evening that threatened him and his family apparently. Mr Miller by the way was not mentally ill as suggested by another party. All I know is that something terrible occurred during that time. Mr Miller was truly not the type of person to do something like this – he only had to stay at the detention center for 20 days (that was my understanding). I just can’t fathom that something like this has occurred again in the detention center. I would think guards/personnel who were on duty would have received some type of sensitivity training that would alert them to something like this issue. It is tormenting to think what terror he was experiencing and realized that this could be his only solution to the problem.
Of course he doesn’t have any proof, because there isn’t any grand conspiracy since it was a suicide. That comment seems to indicate that we put him into a more dangerous area after he asked to be put into a safer one. He was placed in a cell by himself, there was only one person that he could have been threatened by and that was the guy in the mirror. I understand that the first reaction to any suicide is denial, nobody wants to believe their loved one would do that. On the flip side, think about what you are saying about the officers. The idea that a group of people who are trying to make a living and have indicated on here clearly that the administration is looking to get them in trouble, would randomly pick a guy out of 500 inmates and for no reason hang him in an isolation cell is ridiculous. As hard as it is for people to accept that their friend or relative had significant enough mental issues to commit suicide it is that hard for us to accept that apparently their is no way to predict who will do it. Obviously statements made in reference to suicide or previous attempts at it are a good indicator but the truth is that any person could do it at any time. So now everyone will have to pay the price for it, its going to be uncomfortable for the hundreds of isolation inmates that pass through the jail and don’t get any normal sheets,blankets, clothing, or personal property just a thick suicide prevention gown but atleast they will all be uncomfortably still living. And we will just have to deal with the thousands of upset family members because of how we are treating their poor sweet innocent Johnny in isolation because according to them he would NEVER harm himself.
Shame on you – sorry Mr Miller inconvienced anyone, guess he just wasn’t thinking straight!
You missed the point Calico. It is possible that people like Mr. Miller will die because the family members of the inmates put in isolation complain about their living conditions. If 100 people make suicidal comments and are placed on isolation without sheets and wearing only a suicide prevent blanket have family members that call and complain about how uncomfortable they are and how miserable it makes them then correctional facilities may have to remove these restrictions. Removing the restrictions places them right back in harms way because the family members refuse to accept that their family member might consider suicide while locked up. There is no telling how Mr. Miller’s family might have reacted had we stripped him down to boxer shorts and given him a suicide prevention gown because there is no way to prove we prevented a suicide.
Relative of "Victim #9" says
Good Evening Mr. DualWiedingTourPipes: No one here is wishing to point the finger of blame; only looking for honest answers and accountability. Mr. Miller made his own calls regarding his experiences at HCDC, he also documented
them. His family did not call the HCDC until AFTER in was in segragation. The reasons he gave for “tapping out” were very real to him. Family did not become involved until AFTER his alarming phone call. I would rather he was stripped of all clothing and in a straight jacket, if that’s what it took to keep him alive! Whatever he was experiencing, it was fixible — death is permanent. He never expressed or exibited a moment of suicidal ideation in his life. Taking everything we have learned into consideration, his death is a bit “odd” to us. Our family got through the “denial” of it in the first 72 hours, and ended up with “this is odd”!
You address the families of the “suicide” victims as though you know and understand what we go thru — and you simply do not understand. I pray that none of you have to experience death by suicide from anyone you truly love. Then and only then, would you understand what they go through and their “the need to know”?
The past deaths are one thing; I’m concerned about the future deaths also. I want the HCDC to save as many from death in your segragation cells as you possibly can. Do you have the right tools available to you to do that? Look, see, determine! If and when you find they are “lacking”, do what you have to do strengthen the area of your concern. That determines teh dignity that you have for human life. That is standing up to the plate and doing what is right!
I know there need to be changes, please do what is right and be effective so that other families do not have to endure the pain and anguish that our family has had to.
Relative of Victim #9 – Well said and I so agree with you. Things do need to be changed in HCDC – needs to be done asap so this does not happen again. No more tragedy!
Ken Kipper says
Jesse Bane does not have time to deal with the issues at the Detention Center. He is currently involved with his latest venture–a publication featuring photos of the Sheriff’s Office employees. He has “strongly suggested” that all agency members participate by having either their individual and/or group photos taken. So now when a bad guy gets ahold of one of these bookets, he can see all the faces of the deputies. Suppose someone gets transferred from patrol to undercover? The photos are there for everyone to see. OOPS. Brilliant plan. So now Bane has placed both the DC employees and law enforcement employees at risk because he wants a chronicle. His time is also being consumed by a Command Inspection of the office at 101 S. Main Street where several units are housed. There have been meetings to schedule pre-inspections. It is very important that the secretaries do not have stuffed animals on their desks. Yet they are working in a basement that other county departments have moved out of due to mold so now the civilians are at risk. Bane has managed to place nearly all of his employees in harms way, except for those chosen ones residing with him in the ivory tower. This Sheriff sure has his priorities in order.
Mike Welsh says
What’s the purpose of this new publication?
its basically for an agency photo in the case of a LODD….it started as mandatory and soon after was stated to be ‘strongly suggested’! i have to say….theres a high percentage of officers/deputies tired of all this shit! especially the last couple months….they just wanna do their job and b/w the “nitpicking”/being advised there will be NO step increases for possibly another 2 yrs/and another rise in healthcare benefits….morale is DEAD….and this agency is becoming less competitive with other agencies by the day!! unfortunaely the economy has deputies hands tied when it comes to looking elsewhere!
Mike Welsh says
Hopefully you will see a change in leadership and things well get better. Although the Sheriff is not responsible for the economy there are many things that he could do within the HCSO to make life better for his personnel.
If the photos of personnel are not going to be published for all to see, whats the fuss?
Thank you for telling it like it is, Ken