Dozens ask for changes to prison system following teen's suicide

Wynton Yates talks about a vigil held for a teen who committed suicide in the parish prison.

NEW ORLEANS – Sunday night dozens of people gathered on the Orleans Parish Courthouse steps and raised concerns over something they said should have never happened.

In the wake of the tragic suicide of Jaquin Thomas, his family and friends believe a 15-year-old should have never been in an adult prison in the first place.

It's a story that has touched the hearts of many throughout New Orleans. Thomas being held at the Orleans Parish Justice Center while facing second-degree murder charges.

"We're taking a kid and putting him in the cage with lions and tigers,” said Thomas’s relative Trina Taylor. “This ought not to be. The violence must stop."

MORE: Teen who committed suicide in prison longed to turn life around, mentor says

The family of Thomas and several incarceration advocacy groups came together on the courthouse steps to speak out against what they said should have never be allowed to happen.

"It's important to bring awareness to the judicial system that something like this should never happen again," said Taylor.

ALSO: Probe into jail suicide of teen now a criminal investigation

In a press release the sheriff's office stated Thomas was found unresponsive in his cell. The coroner said he died from asphyxiation.

"There is no way that you will snatch our children from us and we will stand by idly and just watch it happen," said someone speaking at the vigil.

Candles, song, and voices spoke out in an effort to let the New Orleans judicial system know, they want answers and resolve.

"Justice, it must prevail,” Taylor said. “I want his voice to ring out loud to the judicial system that this must not ever happen again.”

 

 

(© 2016 WWL)


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