Sheridan Prisoner Fakes Suicide to Have Urgent Medical Attention

An inmate at the Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution faked suicide in a desperate attempt to have his medical condition examined. Medical attention delays that prompted the prisoner to take drastic measures have been blamed on understaffing at the Oregon correctional facility.


Exhaustion and Understaffing Blamed for Problems

Mandatory overtime resulting in exhaustion, and prison personnel appointed to undertake a workload for which they are not hired, has been exposed by the Inspector General, Michael Horowitz in a new report for the Justice Department. He says the shortage of staff among medical personnel and corrections officers are the biggest hurdles facing the country’s federal prison system contributing challenges to Sheridan and more than 120 other correctional facilities nationwide.

Horowitz says this is a problem that has been 20 years in the making with no quick fix solution in sight.

The visit to Sheridan by the Inspector General was the third in a series of surprise inspections of corrections facilities controlled by the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The unannounced investigations have revealed major hurdles within the BOP system in which 160,000 prisoners are incarcerated throughout the country.

The problems uncovered at Sheridan by Horowitz include the inability to provide anger management classes, mental health treatment, vocational training, and other services needed to rehabilitate inmates so that they are fully prepared to handle life on their release back into society. Horowitz says these shortfalls have a cascading effect on staff shortages and all other services offered at facilities.


Sheridan Houses 1,523 Men

The Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution is comprised of a medium security prison, a minimum-security prison camp, and a detention center. Sheridan houses 1,523 men and when Horowitz conducted his surprise inspection only 81% of the correctional services positions were filled. The facility’s Health Services Department was staffed by 18 instead of 27 personnel, comprising 67% of positions filled.


Medical Staff Shortages Resulted in Hundreds of X-rays and Lab Tests Left Unattended

Horowitz found that inmates were not having X-rays or laboratory tests performed because of the shortage of nurses and doctors at Sheridan. There was a backlog of 274 X-ray orders, and of 725 blood and urine lab test orders. This indicated that medical conditions were not being diagnosed.

He also found that there were insufficient correctional officers available to escort inmates to medical appointments outside the prison gates. This led to a total of 101 canceled medical appointments for the first 11 months of 2023.

The Sheridan inmate who faked suicide and sparked a renewed focus on conditions at the Oregon federal prison was found to have severely infected ingrown hair that resulted in him spending five days in hospital to treat the infection.

Morning Brief Newsletter
Sign up today for our daily newsletter, a quick overview of top local stories and Oregon breaking news delivered directly to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.