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Investigation Finds High Death Rate In Washoe County Jail

A Reno Gazette Journal investigationhas found that the Washoe County Jail’s suicide rate is five times higher than the national average.

The spike in deaths happened as the jail stopped providing annual suicide prevention training. Since January 1, 2015, six inmates have committed suicide at the jail. In the eight years prior to that, only one inmate succeeded in hanging himself.

The investigation also found that 13 people have died in the last two years from other causes. The national death rate in jails is 140 per 100,000, while at the Washoe County Jail that number is 573 per 100,000.

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Washoe County jail officials say they can’t pin down a single cause or influencing factor contributing to the spike in suicides.