Grantee probes high rate of suicide in Wyoming’s jails

The suicide rate in Wyoming county jails is the fourth-highest in the country, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report based on data from 2000-2019. (Illustration by Eda Uzunlar/WyoFile)

In an investigation for Wyofile, reporter Shane Sanderson found that Wyoming’s jails are among the nation’s deadliest for inmate suicide. Sanderson found that 22 inmates had died by suicide in Wyoming’s jails over a decade, the fourth-highest rate in the country. With support from the Fund, WyoFile requested records from the sheriffs of each Wyoming county, asking for details on deaths in their jails: who had died, when they had died, the cause of the death and whether the sheriff had requested an external state investigation. Sheriffs for all 23 counties replied. Eight reported no in-custody deaths in the preceding decade. The remaining counties reported 34 deaths in total. Two-thirds were suicides.