X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
The D.C. Department of Corrections issued a new inmate suicide prevention plan months after jail officials released false information about lapses in mental health care that may have contributed to the suicide of 32-year-old inmate Alicia Edwards. The D.C. Inspector General’s Office is investigating the department about the suicides of Edwards in March and 28-year-old Thomas Alemayehu last December. Both of the mentally ill inmates hanged themselves while being held alone in intake cells on minor charges. Neither inmate had been placed on suicide watch or in the mental health unit. The Corrections Department initially claimed Edwards was detained in the mental health unit under 24-hour observation before her suicide. Under the new policy, any inmate who shows signs of mental illness in an initial screening must be kept in the infirmary until a mental health assessment is completed, within four hours. Edwards was flagged for mental health problems in her screening, but she hanged herself two days later, before receiving an assessment by jail health care contractor Unity Health Care. Also, inmates can no longer be detained alone in intake cells during the first 24 hours of incarceration, and guards will receive more training to identify suicidal tendencies and will learn new suicide watch procedures. D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-large) called for the inspector general probe in April, saying an independent investigation was needed rather than having the Corrections Department “investigating itself.” Mendelson said last week the department has refused to release its report on Alemayehu’s suicide to him, even though he chairs the Council committee that oversees the department. The Corrections Department also denied a Freedom of Information Act request from Legal Times for a copy of the report. Another internal investigation of Edwards’ suicide has not yet been completed. Corrections Department Director Devon Brown has repeatedly refused to be interviewed about the suicides or about the misinformation provided by jail officials about Edwards’ death.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.