Incident reports reveal inmate deaths, suicide attempts in county jails

Every year, scores of inmates die, attempt suicide or escape from Oklahoma's county jails. Every time they do, the event is reported to the state Health Department's jail inspection division.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: September 8, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: September 8, 2013
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AT A GLANCE

inmate deaths, suicide attempts

in county jails

One inmate was killed by his cellmate.

Another had a heart attack. Some died under mysterious circumstances.

A young man being held for a heinous triple murder overpowered a guard and escaped into the surrounding countryside.

Dozens of inmates have tried to end their lives behind bars.

With individuals of all kinds behind bars in varying states of mind, scores of inmates die, attempt suicide or escape from Oklahoma's county jails every year.

Each time they do, the event is reported to the state Health Department's Jail Inspection Division.

There have been 39 inmate deaths between Jan. 1, 2011, and the end of July, according to incident reports on file with the state Health Department's Jail Inspection Division.

About half of the deaths occurred at either the Tulsa or Oklahoma county jails.

Since the start of 2011, there have been six inmate deaths at the Tulsa County jail. At the Oklahoma County jail, there have been 12 reported deaths, totals that include suicides.


by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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