By Devin Blake
This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee. Visit milwaukeenns.org.
After a 14-month span during which six people died in custody at the Milwaukee County jail, the Board of Supervisors on Monday will decide whether to formally accept a report from the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office that explains policies and procedures at the jail.
In May, the board formally requested a “baseline report” about the operations of the jail. But some residents continue to express frustration that the report does not give clear answers about why these deaths continue to occur.
Kerrie Hirte, whose daughter died in the jail in December 2022, told NNS that the report does not provide the answers that she is looking for.
In particular, Hirte wants a clearer picture about the policies and procedures for the jail relating to suicide.
Hirte’s daughter, Cilivea Thyrion, died by apparent suicide, even though at the time of her death, she was housed in a special needs pod. These pods are typically for people who have mental or behavioral health needs.
Getting her questions answered by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office will save lives, Hirte said.
“It could change in there (the jail),” she said. “But if nobody speaks out, there’s going to be less of a chance for change.”
The sheriff’s office did not respond to a request for comment about the report.
Since the board’s request for the report in May, two people havedied in the jail, according to statements from the MCSO.
The board requested that the report include information about the organizational structure of the jail, third-party investigations, internal disciplinary proceedings and policies and procedures relating to mental health treatment and suicide prevention.
Supervisor Ryan Clancy, who chairs the Judiciary, Law Enforcement and General Services Committee, wants the report sent back to his committee to allow more discussion.
“We’d schedule a public hearing on just this item so we have the space to get the answers for the questions that the public has,” he said.
For more information
You can contact your county supervisor before Monday’s meeting, which takes place at 6 p.m. Monday at the Bradley Pavilion in the Marcus Performing Arts Center, located at 929 N. Water St. Free parking is available for those who attend.
Devin Blake is the criminal justice reporter for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. His position is funded by the Public Welfare Foundation, which plays no role in editorial decisions in the NNS newsroom.