“Unfortunately, our detention center — and thousands of detention centers across the country — have become de facto mental health hospitals,” Sheriff Craig Owens said in the release. “I will be convening local leaders, including those who just toured the facility, to help identify solutions and hopefully find treatment options outside of incarceration.”
The sheriff’s office noted that Smith’s death came one day after news crews from Channel 2 Action News toured the jail facility along with Cobb’s chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Cobb Coalition for Public Safety.
Officials did not say how Smith attempted to end her life, specify when she was booked into the jail or say what charges she faced.
She became the third inmate at the facility to die while in custody since May 3.
Joshua Capes, a 48-year-old Kennesaw man, was found unresponsive in his cell May 2 and later died in a hospital, the sheriff’s office said. He’d been booked eight days prior on felony drug possession charges.
Eva Kanja, 28, of Smyrna, died May 12 while undergoing a mental health evaluation at the facility, according to deputies. She’d been arrested April 29 and was being detained on a misdemeanor battery charge.
Cobb had a total of three inmate deaths in 2021.