San Diego Jails See More Deaths and Suicides Than Their Counterparts. Why?

An investigative report from the San Diego Union-Tribune puts the number of San Diego County Jail deaths at 140 people since 2009 or a rate of one death per month. That’s far and beyond the number of deaths that have occurred at comparable jail systems in California.

The researchers looked at 10 years worth of data from the state's six largest county jails over a period of six months. San Diego had the highest number of suicides and non-suicide deaths.

According to the Tribune, suicides rose after the election of San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.

Gore’s office sent a statement to KPBS, which conducted an interview with Tribune reporter Kelly Davis.

Gore’s statement reads:

“The recent articles in the San Diego Union-Tribune highlight issues that are being faced not just by jails in San Diego County, but at detention facilities in California and across the United States. These issues are not unique to our jails. Mental illness and suicide are problems our society is facing on a daily basis."