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Guards Come Forward In Dawson Jail Investigation

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - People have died inside a downtown Dallas jail. And we've been told, the deaths are the result of a lack of attention and medical care.

As CBS 11 continues its investigation into the deaths at Dawson state jail, former guards are coming forward and speaking out. They say they are worried more cries for help will go ignored inside the prison walls.

First, we talked to family members of those who died inside the jail. Then, former inmates told us their health needs were ignored.

MORE: Mysterious Jail Death Raises Questions
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And, now, in part four of our on-going investigation, two former guards say they know what's gone on inside the jail and they feel the deaths could have been prevented.

Dawson State Jail is run by a private company called CAA based in Tennessee. No one from CCA has talked to CBS 11 on camera but a spokesperson did provide us the following statement:

"Our dedicated, professional team here at Dawson State Jail is firmly committed to the health and safety of the inmates entrusted to our care. Although we are not the healthcare service provider, we take our role in the process of providing inmates access to care very seriously. The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), in contract with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), provides the healthcare services at the facility, and our team works closely with our government partners to ensure inmates have access to that medical care.

We take seriously any complaints made by inmates or staff, who are provided a number of ways to communicate concerns about care to facility management, CCA management and the TDCJ. When a specific complaint is received, facility management investigates it or refers it to the appropriate agency for investigation. TDCJ also maintains a full-time contract monitor onsite at the facility. CCA has worked in good faith and strong partnership with the TDCJ at the Dawson State Jail for eight years to provide safe, humane and cost-effective corrections services to the State, and we are proud to continue that partnership."

Steven Owen, Senior Director, Public Affairs, CCA

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