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.
Institutional settings may include:
- Jails and prisons
- Nursing homes
- Detoxification clinics
- Residential drug treatment centers
- Other settings where authorities are required to protect an inmate or patient
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTING MENTALLY ILL INMATES?
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.