Inmates can suffer from holiday depression - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Inmates can suffer from holiday depression

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Amarillo, TX - Tonight the Texas Rangers are investigating an apparent hanging at the Hutchinson County Jail.

The Hutchinson County Sheriff's Department says 27 year old inmate Dustin West was found during a routine cell check at 12:21 this morning.

And while it is not known if West suffered from Depression, many inmates due face Holiday Depression during this time of year.

The Potter County Detention Center keeps a close eye on all of their inmates to make sure none of them are suffering from this type of depression.

"The Jail Commission requires us to check these cells once every hour, our standard locally is every 30 minutes, if we have individuals that we have on tighter watches then we do every 15 minutes and it's all electronically recorded each time we go by and check on the cell," said Lt. Ken Dougherty who is the Administrative Lieutenant at the Potter County Detention Center.

Inmates can become Depressed during the holidays since they are away from their families, especially if it's their first year being incarcerated.

Before new inmates are even placed inside the jail they are given a mental evaluation to check for signs or red flags of Depression.

"We have separate cells that we place people in that have triggers or have red flags come up during that questioning series," said Dougherty.

Inmates who are placed in a highly monitored cell are also given thicker blankets and sometimes made to wear thick smocks so they can't tie them in a knot and harm themselves.

The Jail also has an elaborate camera system so they can closely monitor the inmates at all times.