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Suit filed following inmate's suicide

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A father whose son committed suicide while in a southern Indiana jail has filed a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff.

Lester E. Tipton Sr., who is the personal representative of the estate his son, Lester E. Tipton Jr., filed the suit last week against Lawrence County and Sam Craig, in his official capacity as sheriff of Lawrence County. Tipton Jr. was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated October 4, 2008, and booked into the Lawrence County Jail. No one asked any mental health or medical questions during intake and Tipton Jr. later told sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers he was going to kill himself. No one acted on the threat and he killed himself that same day.

The suit alleges that the sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers were deliberately indifferent to his need for increased monitoring or health screening, and at the time of his death, the jail was overcrowded. Because of the overcrowding, the officials couldn’t properly monitor Tipton Jr.

The suit claims Tipton Jr. was deprived of his rights under the Fourth, Eighth, and 14th amendments of the federal Constitution, and under Article 1, Sections 11, 15, 16, and 21 of the Indiana Constitution.

The suit, Lester E. Tipton Sr. v. Lawrence County, et al., No. 4:10-CR-120, seeks compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, and any other proper relief.
 

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  1. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  2. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  3. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  4. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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