JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. – It’s been a rough few days for corrections officers at the Jefferson County Jail. They intervened in a suicide attempt and multiple overdoses. Jail officials are proud of the workers.
It began Sunday when three male inmates overdosed. Early Tuesday morning, a female inmate tried to take her own life.
Jefferson County Jail Administrator Brenda Short said she’s pleased by her crews.
“I think they’re amazing. I couldn’t be more proud of them than if they were my own children and they saved my own life.”
Short knows how tough a job it is for corrections officers both mentally and physically, day in and day out.
“It’s extremely challenging it is a non-stop job you think about it all the time,” Short said.
They use a body scanner to check incoming prisoners. On Saturday, what’s believed to be a tiny amount of fentanyl was missed in the scanning operation.
They said the drug was hidden inside a man’s body. He allegedly gave the drug to three other inmates who overdosed. Officers ran quickly to administer Narcan.
A female inmate apparently tried to take her life Tuesday morning. She had shown no previous signs of mental problems. A corrections officer came to her rescue.
“He cut her down and laid her on the bunk and started life-saving procedures,” Short said.
“Those folks got involved quickly and behaved in a manner that allowed four people to continue living,” Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Grant Bissell said.
Besides saving lives, the officers may have prevented expensive lawsuits from being filed against the sheriff’s department.
Bissell added, “What our folks did here potentially saved millions of dollars in taxpayer money.”
Jail officials expect charges to be filed against the man who allegedly carried the drugs into jail. Training procedures for the body scanner are under review for officers.
Reportedly, all four inmates are now doing fine physically.