Recent Cuyahoga County Jail Death is 'Inconceivable,' Says Lawyer for Family

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[image-1] A lawyer representing the family of 27-year-old Brendan Kiekisz, who died Sunday night after a suicide attempt at the Cuyahoga County Jail, has voiced what many observers are thinking: After seven deaths at the jail and a scathing report by the U.S. Marshals documenting inhumane conditions there, how could the county let this happen?

"It is inconceivable," wrote Paul J. Cristallo in a press statement, "that a young man such as Brendan could have lost his life in the Cuyahoga County Jail considering the scrutiny the County is under. Cuyahoga County has clearly been on notice that they were not operating a facility in compliance with the United States Constitution, yet they failed to take the steps necessary which could have saved Brendan's life."



While the press statement, (attached below), makes no mention of a lawsuit, Cristallo is preparing to file one on behalf of the Kiekisz family.

Brendan Kiekisz' death is the eighth at the county jail since June, and the 56th suicide attempt at the facility in 2018. The death is indeed alarming given the recent scrutiny. But it's especially tragic because Kiekisz should not have been there at all.



Cleveland.com reported that Kiekisz had been booked into jail on Christmas Day "on suspicion of violating the terms of his court-ordered drug intervention program." But at a hearing last week, Judge Michael Donnelly ruled that Kiekisz actually hadn't violated the terms of the program. He had been arrested at a hospital, after ODing on heroin, because he'd failed to report to his probation officer, (presumably because he was at the hospital). Donnelly said that Kiekisz should have been sent to a treatment facility instead of the jail. He was taken back to the jail before he was transferred to a medical facility in Highland Hills. And a few hours later, he was found hanging in his cell.

The chronically understaffed jail was yet again understaffed that night. A single corrections officer was responsible for watching about 100 inmates, a "double-pod" situation which officers have repeatedly argued against and filed grievances over.

Kiekisz had reportedly attempted suicide two days before he was booked into the jail and suffered from bipolar disorder and depression.
See related PDF brenden-kiekisz-press-statement-1.pdf

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