It’s happened again: a Florida inmate has taken his own life. In May of 2015, 41-year-old Gregory David Larkin was found dead of an apparent suicide while he awaited execution based on a murder conviction. He took his own life at a Florida State Prison in Bradford County. And now, less than six months later, 29 year old Vincent Tarvin, of Palm Coast, was found in his cell in a Volusia County jail on Tuesday October, 27. Though he was found alive, he has been deemed brain dead and will never recover consciousness. Authorities say he was found hanging from his bunk bed from an apparent suicide attempt.
Should incarceration be glamorous and attractive? Of course not. However, if law enforcement authorities are not protecting the lives and the rights of prisoners, the Constitution is being forsaken. Our duty requires us to protect inmates from cruel and unusual punishment and to ensure that inmates are treated justly. If conditions in Florida jails and prisons do not ensure that inmates receive proper treatment—including mental health treatment—something must be changed before we fail in our responsibilities again. Suicide is often the last refuge of despair and mental health challenges. Inmates should be given the proper supervision to ensure they do not succumb to this ultimate act of violence.