Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Supervisors Want Audit of County Jail

Supervisors Felesia Martin and Ryan Clancy propose legislation in response to deaths at county jail.

By - Mar 23rd, 2023 10:31 am
Milwaukee County Jail and Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Milwaukee County Jail and Milwaukee County Courthouse. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Following four deaths in less than a year at the Milwaukee County Jail, two county supervisors are calling for a formal audit of the facility.

In a statement issued Tuesday, supervisors Felesia Martin and Ryan Clancy said their pending legislation would propose an audit to “investigate the jail’s policies surrounding suicide prevention and monitoring, the reporting of incidents to families of the deceased, the use of solitary confinement, and staffing levels for medical, correction and mental health employees, among other issues.”

The facility is run by the Milwaukee County Sheriff.

Last June, 21-year-old Brieon Green committed suicide shortly after being booked into the facility. No criminal charges have been issued related to his death, but his family and their attorney, B’Ivory LaMarr, contend that his death could have been prevented and was the result of negligence.

In December, a 21-year-old woman was reported to have committed suicide by the Milwaukee County Sheriff‘s Office, an investigation is ongoing. The woman has since been identified by her family and their attorney, also LaMarr, as Cilivea Sunray Thyrion.

Later in December, a 49-year-old Octaviano Juarez-Corro was said to have died without a known cause of death.

Earlier this month, a 37-year-old man was reported dead. The latest three deaths are still being investigated by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office.

“Investigations of these deaths are forthcoming, and we call on our investigative agencies to be transparent and thorough,” Martin said. “We are also calling for an audit of the jail. Our community deserves answers, especially the families and loved ones of the departed. I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the families.”

Clancy, a frequent critic of the sheriff’s department, called for both “transparency and footage to be released” and added that he otherwise expected neither to be forthcoming. Community activists have regularly demanded that authorities expedite the release footage and information following a jail death.

The legislation has not yet been circulated to the supervisors’ board colleagues for review.

“When Supervisor Martin and I circulate our resolution calling for an audit of the jail, I am confident that both stakeholders and our colleagues on the Board will coalesce around the unfortunately dire need for a closer look into the circumstances surrounding these deaths, several of which seem to have been preventable,” said Clancy.

The jail has been subject to a court-ordered consent decree and monitoring of inmate health care since 2001 as part of a resolution to lawsuit, Christensen v. Milwaukee County, filed over constitutional violations and unsafe living conditions.

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