Ohio inmate suicide-prevention recommendations

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Recommendations by corrections consultants reviewing suicide-prevention measures in the Ohio prisons agency:

— Consider assigning a mental health professional to high-profile inmates such as Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro as they enter the system. Such contact could help reduce anxiety in an inmate and create a record of behavior. High-profile inmates have usually been convicted of crimes so notorious they might face abuse in prison.

— Take immediate action to correct a culture that has allowed guards to falsify logs related to conducting security checks, and improve accountability of prison guard supervisors.

— End the use of online training courses for suicide prevention and replace it with rigorous staff training.

— Improve agreements with counties to ensure records are passed on that might contain relevant information about an inmate’s risk for suicide.

— Examine the way inmates with mental health issues are observed while incarcerated.

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Source: Consultants’ report for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

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