Upon routine inmate checks, a Larimer County Jail corrections deputy discovered an inmate had severed his own thumb.

At approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday, the deputy noticed a person's thumb under a cell door in the high security housing unit. The deputy looked inside the cell and could see the inmate bleeding from his hand.

Additional deputies and medical staff responded to the incident and determined the inmate had bitten his thumb off his hand.

The inmate was transported to a local hospital for treatment, however, the thumb was unable to be reattached.

He was returned to the jail where he continues to attempt self-harm by pulling at bandages and attempting to bite himself. According to Larimer County Sheriff's Office, this inmate has also assaulted a corrections deputy in the past.

LCSO cites this incident as an example of the growing number of inmates housed in county jails who suffer from apparent or diagnosed mental illness. While the Larimer County Jail does provide mental health services to inmates via diagnoses and medications, the jail is not the appropriate locale for treatment of mental illness.

"Behavior management continues to be complex for corrections deputies because of inmates suffering significant and persistent mental health issues," states Captain Tim Palmer, Corrections Division Commander.

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