Mother sues Governor Rauner after daughter commits suicide in jail

Mother sues Governor Rauner after daughter commits suicide in prison

After her daughter committed suicide inside the Sangamon County Jail in March 2017, Kelli Andrews is suing Governor Rauner and Sangamon County Officials.

Andrews said Logan Correctional Center didn’t do enough to help her daughter, Tiffany Rusher, who developed a mental illness.

Rusher was serving five years at the Logan Correctional Center after being charged with aggravated sexual abuse of a minor back in 2013.

She was placed in solitary confinement after receiving a disciplinary infraction in prison.

During her time in solitary confinement, Rusher began trying to harm herself by swallowing batteries and a pen and tried strangling herself with a piece of elastic.

By May 2014, prison staff diagnosed Rusher with a bipolar type schizoaffective disorder.

Andrews believed her daughter’s time in the crisis-center confinement room caused Rusher’s mental illness to worsen.

“They didn’t treat that mental illness despite knowing she needed to be in the hospital,” Andrews's attorney Alan Mills said. “Instead, they kept her inside this striped-out crisis-cell for eight months, which during, she got a lot worse.”

After being released from Logan Correctional Center in May 2016, officials took Rusher to McFarland Mental Health Hospital in Springfield.

Rusher was later arrested in the hospital for fighting and taken to Sangamon County Jail to serve her sentence.

Rusher spent five months inside the jail before she used a towel to hang herself in March 2017. She died in a nearby hospital days later.

Andrews is asking to be compensated for her daughter’s death.

We reached out to the Illinois Department of Corrections and they said they cannot comment on pending litigations.

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