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Jan 3, 6:59 PM EST

Acting Milwaukee sheriff assigns inmate wellness monitor

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The acting sheriff of Milwaukee County has assigned an officer to monitor inmates' health at the county's troubled jail.

Acting Sheriff Richard Schmidt said Wednesday the jail increasingly has seen inmates with "severe health and drug abuse issues." He said he created the new position to provide an "added layer of protection" for more fragile inmates.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports seven inmates have died at the jail since the middle of 2016. The most recent was last month.

Milwaukee prosecutors are considering criminal charges against some of former Sheriff David Clarke's jail staff for the 2016 dehydration death of inmate Terrill Thomas. Prosecutors are not considering charges against Clarke because they said he wasn't directly involved in the events that led to Thomas' death.

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