Inspection reports from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards found the Marion County Jail in violation of multiple regulations regarding checks on potentially suicidal or mentally ill individuals in December.

According to a report filed on Dec. 17, jail staff failed to notify magistrates within 12 hours about potentially suicidal or mentally ill inmates, neglected to perform timely in-person checkups on those inmates and did not file complete screening reports for suicide and medical/mental/developmental issues.

State regulations require jail staff to inform a magistrate about affirmative answers on mental health and suicide screenings, or Continuity of Care Queries (CCQ) that can shown a person’s mental health issues documented by public health authorities.

Jail staff must also perform physical checks every 30 minutes on areas where inmates who are “assaultive, potentially suicidal, mentally ill, or who have demonstrated bizarre behavior are confined,” the report said.

The report states Marion County Jail staff were conducting those checks through a camera system instead, anywhere from two to 45 minutes later than required “on a routine basis.”

Marion County Sheriff David Capps said the violations are a result of paperwork mishaps and training new employees at the jail, and that they are taking steps to correct course.

“There was a failure on our training part to monitor every piece of paperwork that went out,” Capps said. “We’ve corrected those measures now. Daily, we are looking at the inmates when they’re booked in and booked out. There’s a daily record now that they have to fill out. The jail admin is going over those everyday.”

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I am a lifelong East Texas resident with a passion for reporting local news. I recently graduated of the University of North Texas with a degree in journalism. In my spare time, I love to read, play drums and brew the best coffee I possibly can.