Josh McLemore’s body, which was undernourished and dehydrated, took its last breath twenty days after he was initially booked into the Jackson County Jail in Seymour, Indiana.
In the summer of 2021, McLemore was initially transported to a hospital facility, where his family believed he could receive treatment for an ongoing episode of schizophrenia. McLemore had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. McLemore was arrested and sent to jail when an off-duty police detective saw him pull a nurse’s hair while he was experiencing a mental health crisis.
He was never formally scheduled to arrive there. There was never any attempt made to take his portrait or fingerprints, and there was never any attempt made to conduct an intake medical or mental health screening.
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Instead, an obviously distressed and nude McLemore was placed in a small cell that was fluorescently illuminated at all times and had no windows. There, he would spend the rest of his incarceration without being able to escape the intense psychotic episode he was suffering.
McLemore did not consume much food or liquid and spent much of his waking hours staring into space, licking the walls, chewing styrofoam, speaking gibberish, spreading his feces on the walls, and rolling around in the garbage. He also spoke gibberish. His pee and feces, along with the food that he didn’t eat, contributed to the filth that accumulated in his cell.
Within the span of three weeks, he was able to shed 45 pounds. Before the eyes of numerous staff members at the jail who monitored his every movement, his physique began to become gaunt, and his face began to sink inward.
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In the end, paramedics were called, but by that point, his condition had already deteriorated to the point where he needed to be evacuated to a hospital in Cincinnati. McLemore passed away on August 10 due to multiple organ failure caused by malnutrition as a result of his “altered mental status and untreated schizophrenia.” His death occurred on that day.
His family has now filed a lawsuit against the employees at the jail, alleging that they were negligent and did nothing to prevent McLemore’s death. They have provided more than 400 hours of film as part of the case, and they claim that the video demonstrates the “inhumane conditions” of McLemore’s imprisonment when he was in the midst of his active psychosis.