Marion County Sheriff investigates apparent jail suicide

File photo

File photo

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– For at least the fourth time this year, deputies with the Marion County sheriff’s office are investigating the death of an inmate in custody.

The latest offender to die of apparent suicide is Joshua Bellamy, 29, who was discovered inside his cell Monday afternoon.

Bellamy had been held less than a week on a cocaine charge.

The in-custody deaths of offenders Walter Gamble and Joseph Defur have already been ruled suicides while the cause of Thomas Miles’ death inside a City County Building holding cell is still under investigation.

Four jail suicides in 2015 spurred Sheriff John Layton to name a suicide prevention task force to examine the crisis and jail operations and offer suggestions so that deputies might help protect offenders from themselves.

Since that time, a handful of grieving families have filed lawsuits against the sheriff following the deaths of their loved ones in custody.

In mid-June, two weeks before Gamble took his own life, the task force recommended several procedural and support changes to reduce the risk of jail suicides, including additional training, handbook, orientation video and telephone message improvements and a designated supervisor to monitor at-risk offenders.

Three months later, Jail Commander James Martin reports progress is being made implementing many of the changes which MCSO medical care provider, Correct Care Solutions, hopes to introduce at facilities where it operates nationwide.

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