No criminal activity found in jail deathFull shift was present at the time of the incident
The Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation (DCI) ruled Thursday that there was no foul play or criminal activity present in the death of Washington County Jail inmate Ronald Wayne Boileau, 51, of Washington.
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar reported today that an autopsy showed that Boileau had died as the result of a hanging. Jailers found Boileau dead in his cell as they did state-required hourly rounds to check on the prisoners at about 1 p.m. Wednesday. He did not have a cellmate.
“Any time anyone is arrested for anything we always have to keep this in mind,” Dunbar said. “In our booking process, there are questions we ask and one is ‘Have you ever thought about killing yourself or are you thinking about it now?’ He answered no to both of those.”
Dunbar said he would review evidence before determining if there will be any disciplinary action taken as a result of the incident. He said that he plans to go over the incident with all the jailers and determine if there is something they can do in the future to keep incidents like this from occurring.
Boileau was arrested Dec. 6 and charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and three counts of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. He faced up to 50 years in prison.
“From what I can tell, Ron was committed to killing himself,” Dunbar said. “You could tell after. He left a note.”
Dunbar declined to say what was in the note, saying it was a note to Boileau’s family and it is the family’s decision whether to release the details.
Jailers receive 40 hours of training, including eight hours of medical training.. He said to a certain extent jailers are trained to look for clues of whether inmates are planning to hurt themselves. He said if there is any indication, the inmate is immediately placed in an isolation cell with a security camera. He also said an evaluation is set up with a doctor.
In cases where inmates harm themselves, Dunbar said the jail staff tries to get the inmate mental help.
Dunbar said at the time of the incident Wednesday there had been a full shift plus one extra person for training. He said that while the jail is short of jailers, the shifts remain full.
“We pay a lot of overtime,” he said.
He said that the day rooms and isolation wing in the jail have cameras in them, but there are not security cameras in each cell. Dunbar said that he does not believe there is a jail in the state that has cameras in every cell.
“What people have to realize is a camera allows you to push the rewind button or the play button,” he said. “It does not stop anything from happening. In order for us to monitor that, not only would we have to have the cameras, but we would have to have an individual stand in front of the monitors and that would be all he does. We just don’t have the finances for that.”
Dunbar also said that he does not believe the incident will affect other counties using the Washington County Jail to house prisoners.