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Death of Sick Inmate Costs Jail $1.15M

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office will pay $1.15 million to the estate of a woman with bipolar disorder who died in a jail cell after refusing food and medication, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Jennifer DeGraw was jailed in 2009, after he husband tried to hospitalize his manic wife under the state’s Baker Act for the mentally ill, the Times reports. However, when authorities arrived, she kicked a deputy and triggered a policy that she be arrested and jailed. She died of a heart attack at the jail after eight days of refusing food, drugs, according to the Times. A federal judge said the jail’s policies at that time were “potentially catastrophic,” the Times reports.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.