2013-01-24 / Front Page

Woman Dies at Giddings State School

According to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, an un-named employee of the Giddings State School tried to save the life of a 53 year old woman, Jeulene Sams of Hempstead, who was found down, on the ground, at the facility on Sunday, January 20, at about 11:20 p.m.

The Sheriff’s report said she was “bleeding profusely” and indicated that she had just gotten off work as a Juvenile Correctional Officer with the facility. She was said to be leaving Dorm 2, walking toward the guard shack gate and was seen throwing up blood, as she fell to the ground. The fellow employee began CPR, but apparently, to no avail.

B&M Ambulance responded to the call, as did Deputy Liles with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Justice of the Peace Troy Bise was called to the scene to do the inquest. He ordered an autopsy, and offered no speculation as to the cause of death. However, no foul play is suspected in the case. The investigation continues until the report from the Medical Examiner’s Office is received.

Given the history of the State School in recent months and years, an act of rescue is counter to the normal reports heard about the facility. Last May, the Leader reported two violent incidents that occurred at the facility on May 3 and 5, 2012, one where pepper spray was used to quell a fight involving six youths at the facility, and another where a juvenile correctional officer was injured when a youth punched her in the face, suffering a sore jaw, swollen eye and a scratched cornea.

There have also been several reports of gang violence in which members “bought and owned other youth” for obtaining illicit drugs, cigarettes and money at the Giddings location.

Since May of last year, reports of such activity have quieted, as a zero tolerance policy for abuse, whether by the staff or the youths themselves, has been enacted. It’s encouraging to learn about acts of kindness at the State School, even in tragedy, such as the death of Sams.

The Giddings State School is a 300-bed facility with about 263 incarcerated youths. It is the largest facility within the state.

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