Inmate found dead in jail cell

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – On Tuesday night a woman was found alone in a jail cell unresponsive. Officials say she apparently hung herself.

Standard procedure actually requires two investigations, one independent, which will be done by Jackson City Police and one internal by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the sheriff that’s exactly what both departments plan to do.

A sad situation Tuesday night in the Jackson County Jail, a woman in an isolated cell committed suicide.

“Medical personnel immediately went to render aid, medical personnel also rendering aid, but unfortunately in this instance the victim in this instance Renee Russell did not survive,” said Sheriff Steve Rand, Jackson County.

Sheriff Steve Rand says Russell was recently placed in that cell for her own safety after concerns about her interaction with other inmates

Still the sheriff says there was little anyone could do.

“I think at times someone that’s really focused on accomplishing a certain act, they’re difficult to prevent, but we work diligently to work to prevent those instances from happening,” said Sheriff Rand.

By law all inmates must be medically evaluated within 24 hours of booking into the jail.

If a medical or psychological problem is identified, the proper help is given.

But sometimes it’s not identified in time.

Russell was not on suicide watch.

“Every once in a while something happens that unfortunately is very tragic,” said Sheriff Rand.

Russell was being held on a felony shoplifting charge after her arrest last month and had not been able to post bond in the case.

The internal investigation will likely wrap up shortly, but the autopsy and other parts of the investigation could take weeks, even months to be completed.

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