Sheriff Bensley Again Rejects Accountability for Jail Suicides

This is a news website, but Sheriff Bensley refusing to admit his responsibility for caring with people with mental health issues in the jail is hardly news. Bensley is again deflecting away from his responsibility to care for the well-being of those in the jail. He says the Grand Traverse County Jail is a good jail, but “not designed and built as a self-harm, suicide prevention facility. Bensley goes on to say that he “can’t anticipate what inmates will do to cause self-harm…”

Bensley still fails to grasp that the vast majority of people who commit crimes, especially repeat offenders and serious offenders who spend time in jail, are likely to have mental health issues of some kind. They have the same right to safety in jail that a person without mental health issues has. They don’t deserve what they get when they’re deprived of basic needs, routine safety checks by guards and mental and physical health care. People in jail deserve basic care. We all know that a large segment of the criminal population has mental health needs, but Sheriff Bensley doesn’t appear to be contrite or demonstrate any kind of responsibility for his position to care for those with mental health needs in his custody.

Failing to provide physical and mental care that inmates need for their safety is a human rights issue, right here in Grand Traverse County.

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