A mentally ill inmate who was kept isolated in Broward County’s main jail in Fort Lauderdale brutally mutilated himself by cutting off his penis and flushing it down the toilet.
According to a report obtained by 7News Miami, a 32-year-old man was found standing at his jail-cell door saying, “I have a real medical emergency. I just cut my penis off and flushed it down the toilet. I have no need for it anymore.”
Investigators said he used the blade from a shaving razor, and now this heinous act is raising serious concerns about inmates with mental illness being locked in isolation.
Greg Lauer, an attorney, who has represented five people who have died horrible deaths in the Broward County jail, said every single one of the cases he represented happened while the inmate was in solitary confinement.
“I think any human being can imagine, you know, how disturbed you’d have to be to cut off any one of your body parts and flush them down the toilet.”
This incident took place in September of 2018; the man had been in solitary confinement for nearly five months.
Lauer said mental illness and isolation are a very dangerous combination, but all of these cases were preventable. “This is what happens when a mentally ill individual is placed in solitary confinement and isn’t given any treatment of any sort,” he said.
The man was rushed to the hospital and later committed to a mental institution. 7News Miami reports that the Broward Sheriff’s Office pays a private company to provide mental health services to inmates.
As part of a federal lawsuit, Broward Sheriff’s Office agreed to bring in a mental health expert to assess conditions inside its jails, and in a report released last year, the doctor was brutally honest.
“Inmates with serious mental illness are suffering needlessly,” and added, “It’s absolutely inhumane.” She concluded there were “current and ongoing violations of federal rights.”
Because of the lawsuit, Broward Sheriff’s Office agreed to change the way inmates with mental illness are treated, but when 7News requested to discuss the exact changes made with Broward Sheriff’s Office officials, their request for an interview was denied.