|San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
County told to get jail in compliance following suicide of 22-year-old inmate
San Jacinto News- Times - August 2009
COLDSPRING – Texas Commission on Jail Standards issued a notice of non-compliance to San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner and Sheriff James Walters in a letter dated July 15. According to the letter, the county jail fails to comply with minimum standards established by law and that appropriate corrective measures must be initiated upon receipt of a notice dated July 14 to the county from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. The notice states that the county must “ensure that each inmate is observed face to face at least every hour by a corrections offi cer and maintain records for commission review.” The non-compliance report was made following the July 11 suicide of a 22-year-old Louisiana man found hanging in his jail cell. According to Sheriff Walters, the body of Mark McIlwain was found by a jailer around 11 p.m. Saturday, July 11. McIlwain was arrested on his way through San Jacinto County on Hwy. 59 and incarcerated on drug charges, according to Walters. Although McIlwain’s family indicated that he had problems, Walters said he was not on suicide watch while in the county jail. “The family didn’t notify us of any problems,” Walters said. Walters said, “Everyone involved has been disciplined and we are looking to get things back to normal.” According to Walters, measures have been taken to correct the problems at the jail. “We’ve had a problem with timing because of our work load,” Walters said. According to Walters there is generally between 60 and 80 inmates incarcerated in the jail.