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.
Attempted suicides are the most common events to generate an incident report for the state Health Department.
There have been 92 serious attempts since 2011, a large number of them occurring in Tulsa County.
Reports reveal that most inmates in county jails try to kill themselves by hanging. Others hurl themselves off upper floors and stab themselves with items they find in the jail.
Most times, inmates who try to end their lives are saved by fellow prisoners.
The incident reports also detail escapes from the state's county jails.
Records show there have been 18 escape events since the start of 2011, with the majority of the inmates fleeing jails in the state's smaller counties.
Triple-murderer Shaun Bosse overpowered a guard when he escaped the McClain County in June 2011, but most inmates simply slip away or escape when they are working.
In September 2012, an inmate at the Pontotoc County jail escaped with the help of a “jail staff member,” the incident report states.
Andrew Knittle, Staff Writer