first_img • No inmates committed suicide at the Clark County Jail in 2013, the first year since 2006 without a suicide.• From 2007 through 2012, 13 inmates killed themselves.• In February 2012, Marius C. Asanachescu, an inmate with bipolar disorder, was killed while being restrained by officers. The death was ruled a homicide by asphyxia and no criminal charges were filed; prosecutors called it “an unfortunate, tragic accident.”• In March 2013, Asanachescu’s family filed a lawsuit against the county and the jail’s medical provider, alleging staff was “deliberately indifferent,” to Asanachescu’s medical needs and officers used excessive force. The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Tacoma.More informationFor information about the local chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness, visit www.nami-clark.org or call 360-695-2823.A retired Episcopalian priest who moved to Vancouver from Columbus, Ohio, a dozen years ago, Don Greenwood has found a second calling.Greenwood, the parent of a son with a mental illness, has become a successful advocate for mentally ill inmates in Clark County.Pushing for change in a facility as rigid as a jail has required the patience you’d expect from a retired priest, as well as persistence. There’s still a lot of stigma about mental illness, Greenwood said, and it has taken a long time to convince jail administrators that changes really need to be made.In 2012, Clark County Sheriff Garry Lucas pledged to county commissioners, who were concerned with an uptick in suicides, that he’d take a new approach with mentally ill inmates. The commissioners’ concern was prompted in part by Greenwood, who had met with then-Commissioner Marc Boldt and then-Administrator Bill Barron. Judges can order mentally ill inmates to Western State Hospital for pre-trial evaluations, but they endure long waits for a bed to open up at the Tacoma-area hospital. Don Greenwood, 74, has been fighting for the Clark County Jail to acknowledge it needs to operate more like a treatment center than a warehouse.last_img