Tag Archives: suicide

OH: Director views inmate suicides as failures; new steps being taken

From the article: “Prisons officials are taking new steps to prevent suicides: using “safe cells,” disposable paper uniforms, soft food and paper eating utensils for inmates on suicide watch; spot-checking video to make sure corrections officers are making rounds; training employees to be watchful for signs that inmates might be suicidal; and reviewing mental-health assessments done when inmates enter the system. But [Director] Mohr cautioned that no amount of vigilance, precautions and staff attention will stop all inmates who are determined to take their own lives.”

Read more here.

h/t Vera Institute

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Most Ohio prison suicides are committed by violent predators, watchdog group says

If you are not living under a rock, you may have heard about some recent suicides in Ohio’s prison system.  The state legislative committee charged with prison oversight published a report today with some key characteristics regarding inmates who have committed suicide in the Ohio prison system since 2000.

Here are some key findings:

  • The DRC experienced 88 completed suicides from 2000 to present.
  • The total number of suicides in any given year fluctuates.
  •  Inmates classified as white accounted for 76.1 percent of suicides.  Male inmates were responsible for 94.3 percent of all suicides since 2000.    

  • Higher security and reception institutions generally experience more suicides.

  •  The average age of inmates who committed suicide was 35.

  •  The majority of inmates committed suicide after having been incarcerated for less than two years or for ten or more years.  The median length of time served was 1.8 years prior to suicide.

  •  75% of inmates committing suicide had sentences of five or more years.

  •  Suicides generally happen in segregation or general population cells. Hanging is the most common method of suicide.

  •  Suicide is most frequently committed by inmates convicted of violent crimes against other persons.  86.4% of all suicides were committed by an inmate convicted of one of the following offenses (including attempts and aggravated offenses): murder, assault, rape, robbery, sexual battery, or burglary.

  •  Ohio is below the national rate of prison suicide.

Read more from a news article on the report here.

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Probes underway in death of Vermont inmate

Another inmate suicide.

“Robert Mossey, 38, known to family and friends as R.J., was found unconscious in a mop closet. He apparently hanged himself. The medical examiner’s report is still out. And state police are trying to rule out foul play, though that doesn’t appear to be the case right now.”

Read more here.

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Inmate Suicides in South Carolina Prisons

I think Castro has prompted a lot of interest in inmate suicide in general.  This article discusses suicide in SC prisons.  Since 2000, SC experienced 38 suicides.  In the same time period, 24 inmates were the victims of homicides.  The homicide number seems a bit high to me, because we definitely have a higher suicide to homicide ratio in Ohio.

Read more about SC prison suicides here.

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OH: Ariel Castro hanged himself in prison cell

Well, the big thing in Ohio corrections today is that Ariel Castro, the man who held three women captive in his “house of horrors” in Cleveland, committed suicide in prison.  This comes not that long after an inmate on Death Row killed himself shortly before he was to go on suicide watch heading into the final month prior to the execution.  The DRC Director has ordered a review of all suicides.

Read more about the Castro suicide here.

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OR: Convicted Ore. murderer killed in prison

From the article: “The Department of Corrections says 45-year-olod Joseph Akins was found in his cell Saturday morning. The Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is investigating the matter in cooperation with local prosecutors.”

This, to me, is similar to the recent suicide that we had in Ohio’s Death Row.  Pretty sure that the idea is that the state is supposed to put him to death, not another inmate or by his own hand…

Read more here.

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D.C. jail inmate found hanged in apparent suicide

From the article: “A 42-year-old D.C. jail inmate was found dead Saturday in an apparent suicide, D.C. corrections officials said. His death came less than two weeks after another jail inmate was found dead with his throat cut.”

He was being held on charges of child sex abuse.

Read more here.

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OH: Inmate died of heroin overdose

The inmate died of a heroin overdose while he was incarcerated in the Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Justice Center.

Staff response:

“Do we know how Mr. Barton got his drugs? Nope. That’s what we’re working on,” said Jim Knapp, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. “But it is a jail and we have criminals here.”

Excellent investigative finding.

Read more here.

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UK: Teesside prison criticised for neglecting prisoner who killed himself

From the article: “Hall’s cell was fitted with CCTV, but his actions were not monitored by prison staff and he lay bleeding for 20 minutes after cutting his throat. The jury concluded the failure of staff to observe and interact contributed to his death.”

Read more here.

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World’s toughest prisons: The five jails with histories of murder, disease and torture

This is a great article, but dear Lord is it depressing.  The prisons include Rikers Island, Bang Kwang (Thailand), La Sante (France), Diyarbakir Prison (Turkey), and Carandiru Prison (Brazil).  In one of the prisons featured, 122 inmates committed suicide in one year due to conditions.  At another, inmates set themselves on fire to avoid the torture of the guards.

Read the article here.

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