Local News

DA Wants Summit To Help Train County Jailers Following Deaths

Posted January 22, 2003 6:14 a.m. EST

— A district attorney wants Western Carolina University to hold a training seminar on health and safety problems at county jails after a recent fire and inmate death.

Charles Hipps is the district attorney for seven counties west of Asheville. Hipps says summit participants would work to develop an inmate medical plan that could be adopted in all counties.

He says that plan could help ensure that deaths similar to those in Cherokee and Mitchell county jails won't happen again.

Eight inmates were killed and nine others injured in a May fire at the Mitchell County jail. And diabetic inmate Christopher Lee Wood was found dead in his Cherokee County jail cell in September after becoming ill.

Western Carolina officials are excited about the idea of a summit. One could be held this spring.