AP IMPACT: Documents show lapses in New York City jails may have led to 9 suicides in 5 years

Jake Pearson / The Associated Press
June 26, 2014 10:29 PM

In this June 25, 2014 photo, Desdemona Offley, wipes away tears as she talks about her son Quanell Offley, during an interview in New York. Quanell Offley made a suicide attempt on Nov. 30, 2013, while jailed on robbery charges. He died days later. Investigative documents obtained by The Associated Press on the 11 suicides in New York City jails over the past five years show that in at least nine cases, protocols and safeguards designed to prevent inmates from harming themselves were not followed. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Documents on the 11 suicides in New York City jails since 2009 show that in most cases, safeguards designed to prevent inmates from harming themselves weren't followed.

The city and state investigative documents were obtained by The Associated Press via public records requests. They show that breakdowns occurred in at least nine of those cases.

In one case, a mentally ill inmate hanged himself from a shower pipe on his third try in three days. Orders that he be put on 24-hour suicide watch were never carried out.

The city Correction Department says it is taking more steps to prevent suicides, such as increasing communication between mental health workers and jail guards.


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