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Inmate at Garfield County jail commits suicide

1-12-2007 Colorado:
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. — Garfield County Sheriff’s deputies discovered an apparent suicide in the maximum security area of the jail late Monday night.

Deputies found Timothy Schilz Jr., 24, at approximately 11:30 p.m. during a scheduled inmate security check in the maximum security unit of the Garfield County Detention Facility. Schilz, whose last known address is in Parachute, had committed suicide by hanging in his cell, according to a release.

At the time of the incident Schilz was not under any suicide or behavioral watch.

Schilz was a pretrial inmate being housed for two charges of contempt of court. The first contempt charge was for false information on sex offender registration and a second contempt charge of check fraud. He was also being held on failure to register as a sex offender.

This incident is being reviewed by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office Professional Standards investigator, according to the press release.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. ..more.. by Post Independent


ACLU wants info on inmate suicide
6-19-2007 Colorado:

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The American Civil Liberties Union has asked for the mental health records of a Garfield County Jail inmate who committed suicide last week.

The ACLU wants the records of Timothy Schilz Jr. as part of its lawsuit over inmate treatment at the Glenwood Springs jail, ACLU Legal Director Mark Silverstein said.

Schilz had been held for allegedly sex offender restrictions and other charges. He was found hanging in his cell during a regularly scheduled security check on June 11.

Silverstein said inmate mental health needs were not met at the jail during the time alleged in the ACLU lawsuit.

“They couldn’t see a psychiatrist or get any type of follow-up mental health help they needed,” he said. “Prisoners with serious mental health needs have the same constitutional right to help that a prisoner with a broken leg has for medical care.”

According to Sheriff’s Department incident reports the ACLU has already received, Schilz was placed on “suicide watch” by jail guards once in 2005 and again last year, Silverstein said.

Sheriff Lou Vallario could not be reached for comment Monday, but said last week that Schilz was not on “suicide watch” and he was unaware of any problems Schilz might have had with jail guards before his death.

The death was the first for the jail since it opened in November 2001. Schilz was booked into the jail on Feb. 13, Vallario said.

The ACLU filed a class action lawsuit last July in Denver federal court claiming jail inmates were subjected to misuse and abuse of pepperball guns, restraint chairs, Tasers, pepper spray and electroshock belts. Two inmates were also allegedly denied access to mental health care.

The lawsuit names Vallario and Jail Commander Scott Dawson as defendants and jail inmates Clarence Vandehey, William Langley, Samuel Lincoln and Jared Hogue as plaintiffs. Vallario has denied all the allegations.

Silverstein said depositions in the case will begin soon, but no court hearing has been scheduled yet. ..more.. by

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