Georgia Sheriff Releases Statement After Two Young Inmates In His County Jail Commit Suicide

Georgia’s Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens has released a statement in response to the news that two teenagers had killed themselves while in jail in his county. 

According to Owens, 19-year-old Augustus Green died at 10:40 p.m. June 17 and 17-year-old William Lopez died at 8:48 a.m. June 20.

A deputy found “Green unresponsive in his cell and began life-saving measures. He was transported to Kennestone Hospital, but they were unable to save him. Green, who was awaiting trial for aggravated assault and other charges, was in a standard cell at the time,” according to Fox 5 Atlanta

Additional information has not yet been released about Lopez. 

In response, Sheriff Owens released a statement, saying, “First, I want to extend my personal and deepest condolences to the families of Messrs. Green and Lopez,” said Owens. “My administration is centered around recognizing the humanity of all in our custody and care.”

“It breaks my heart that we lost two young men,” he added. “We are leaning even more heavily on our community partners and will seek assistance from the State to both increase our number of close observation beds and to streamline the process for referring detainees to outside service providers so they can get all of the services that will benefit them and aid in preventing suicides.”

According to a press release, the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office has “gained a reputation for its commitment to mental health services.” Detainees already have 24/7 access to mental health support. The agency also is the first in Georgia – and only one of two nationally – to implement body camera technology that allows for two-way communication between a person who is having a mental health episode and a mental health provider.

D & B Staff

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