Suicide in Jails & Other Institutions

Suicide in Jails & Other Institutions


It’s a tragic reality that generations of cuts to mental health funding in Ohio has led to a lack of services for people in the state who need them. Over the past 30 years, mental health policies have forced the closing of public psychiatric hospitals.

The program was designed to help mentally ill people gain a foothold in society, but it lacked funding. As a result, the people who need mental health care are forgotten until they are arrested.

Today, upwards of 500,000 mentally ill people are confined to U.S. jails. Our lawyers know how to investigate and prove liability due to negligence in cases involving preventable suicide in a variety of settings.

How to get help if you have lost a loved one due to jail suicide

Call us today at 216-621-0070 or complete our online form for a free consultation and learn more about your rights if you have lost a loved one due to jail suicide.

Frequently Asked Questions About Institutional Suicide

If you are considering hiring an attorney, you may have questions about contacting a lawyer. We answer your most frequently asked questions about jail and institutional suicide below.

Other Than Jails, Where Else are Residents at Risk for Suicide?

Jails aren’t the only settings where residents are at risk of suicide. Those residing in nursing homes, detox clinics, or seeking in-patient treatment for addiction, often lose their lives to suicide.

In some of these cases, the institution has failed to do its job to protect citizens from harm.

What Causes a Jail or Institutional Suicide?

When a suicide occurs in a jail, nursing home, or other institutional setting, questions must be asked about the:

  • Institutional protocols
  • Level of training
  • Staff competence

Inadequate medical care may prevent intervention that could have stopped a suicide. Learn more about causes of institutional suicide at jail and institutional suicide explained.

What Are My Legal Options After a Jail Suicide?

Survivors may take legal action against the prison and possibly managers and individual staff for failing to prevent the event. This falls under the law of negligence meaning the party did not meet the expected standard of care.


While it’s the role of governments to fine or sanction an institution, a family can sue the parties responsible. A lawsuit, which a personal injury lawyer can help you to launch, can result in monetary damages against the institution and bring the failure of protocols to light in order to stop future tragedies from happening.

When authorities assume custody of someone, they also assume responsibility for protecting that person—from others or from himself. In cases of depression, there’s a risk that the inmate may commit suicide. When lapses in official responsibility result in suicide, authorities can be held liable.


If you have lost a loved one due to jail suicide, hospital suicide, nursing home suicide, or in another institutional setting, we can help. Our attorneys will investigate the case and determine if official negligence can be identified as the cause for the suicide.