Why Is The Suicide Rate In Bristol County Jails So High?

As the number of suicides in county jails continues to rise, one county is playing an outsized role: Bristol.

There are 13 counties in the state, each of them running their own jails.

But Bristol accounts for nearly one-quarter of all the inmate suicides in the county-run jails in Massachusetts. Fifteen inmates have killed themselves inside the Bristol County jails since 2006, the most recent in March a 22-year-old man facing rape charges.

Critics blame the state’s longest-serving sheriff for being callous to the problem. But the jail’s leadership says drug addiction and social problems on the street are spilling into the jail.

Listen to Part 2 in our series: