County settles lawsuit for Rosebud Sioux inmate's suicide
Sheridan County in South Dakota settled a lawsuit over the suicide of Jay Spotted Elk, who was a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Spotted Elk was an inmate at the county jail when he committed suicide in July 2005. A lawsuit filed by his mother, Arlyn Eastman-Broken Nose, said the jail failed to seek medical attention even though he had tried to harm himself.

The county agreed to pay $100,000 to Eastman-Broken Nose and to make changes to its suicide response policy. Part of the policy will focus on Indian inmates.

“These changes mean that Jay Spotted Elk did not die in vain; the Sheridan County Jail will be a safer place,” attorney Maren Chaloupka said in a press release, The Chadron Record reported. “To our understanding, it is unprecedented for a non-reservation county to implement jail suicide prevention policies specifically addressing the needs of Native Americans. It is only due to Eastman-Broken Nose’s commitment that this precedent is now being established, in honor of her son. We hope that other counties will follow suit.”

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Sheridan County settles lawsuit on inmate suicide (The Chadron Record 5/12)