Oct. 16—A request for suicide prevention items in the Cleveland County jail has been rescinded, but sheriff's officials say they don't expect the need to outweigh their current supplies.
County commissioners on Tuesday rescinded bids for a suicide safety smock and safety blanket. The ordinance was put before the commissioners “due to price increases from the awarded vendors,” according to the meeting agenda.
The smock and blanket “are used to provide warmth and modesty” to people in the jail with suicidal ideations while still ensuring their safety, sheriff's spokesperson Mendi Brandon said in an email to The Transcript.
As of Wednesday, the jail had placed 411 people under suicide precautions over the previous year. Two people in the jail have died from suicide in the past five years, according to information provided by Brandon.
The lowest listed bidding prices were $51.50 for the smocks and $47 for the blankets, according to county records. These bids were submitted by ICS Jail Supplies in Texas.
“Due to the rising cost of materials and transportation since the award of this contract, we are unable to honor the initial awarded price,” a memo to ICS reads. County purchasing coordinator Melinda Duke declined to comment on the bids.
Brandon said the “current need for this non-consumable item is none,” but did not clarify which item. She also said the jail doesn't currently need items that need to regularly be replaced.
“Our inventory control officer is very good at ensuring we have ample supply in reserve and even more so since the pandemic began due to supply chain issues,” she said.
The jail has “several areas” throughout that can hold suicidal detainees, but Brandon did not clarify how much space when asked. Sheriff's officials did not provide details on the number of beds in the jail or specifics on services offered to suicidal detainees.
Brandon also said the jail has “a number” of crisis intervention-trained detention deputies and mental health providers, but did not clarify how many when asked. She said the sheriff's office frequently uses those staff to determine a course of action for detainees.
Commissioner Darry Stacy after the Tuesday meeting said he didn't have enough information to comment on suicidal detainees in the jail.Internet Explorer Channel Network