Another inmate has committed suicide in Luzerne County Prison, according to Times Leader. Her family members are distraught and demanding answers.
The latest death recorded at Luzerne County Prison was a ruled a suicide. And, both family members of the deceased and county officials are seeking answers over what actually happened.
There have been eight suicide attempts and three deaths this year in Luzerne County Jail. City officials think enough is not being done in the prison system to detect or deter suicides.
45-year-old Tricia Cooper died in hospital after a suicide attempt in her jail cell. She is the third female inmate to die since June. Her mother, Carol Moss, insists “her death should not be in vain.”
Prison Suicides: Why Are They Increasing So Much?
Prison inmate Joan Rosengrant attempted suicide in her cell and died in the hospital on July 7. Another inmate, Brooke Griesing, died on the following day, June 8. Officials said she was asphyxiated from hanging herself. She too committed suicide.
Councilwoman Kathy Dobash queried:
“Why are these suicides happening?”
“Why are they successful, and what protocol changes need to be done?”
Mark Rockovich, Head of Correctional Division, shared his thoughts on suicides in Luzerne County Prison. He says that the rising rate of suicide attempts and successful suicides within a short period of time at the county prison on Water Street in Wilkes-Barre “is not normal.”
Rockovich said prison authorities and mental health advocates need to do more to ensure that suicide prevention protocols are rigorously reviewed and upgraded. Although all inmates are also thoroughly screened for mental redflags when initially booked, this is not enough.
He added that corrections officers must undergo constant training programs to detect mental systems and suicidal behaviors in inmates before things go out of hand. This may help decrease the rate of suicide in Luzerne County Prison.
Inmate’s Family Wants Answers About Her Suicide in Luzerne County Prison
Relatives of Tricia Cooper confirmed she suffered from mental health issues. But, they are still eager to know how she was able to commit suicide in Luzerne County Prison under the seemingly watchful eyes of correctional officers.
They want to know:
- What Tricia used to hang herself in her cell
- Whether she began to exhibit mental distress during or after being booked into the cell
Allen Moss, Tricia’s step-father, expressed dismay that the family was not notified in time of Tricia’s suicide attempt in her cell. By the time they found out, it was too late. She was already nearly dead at the hospital.
Moss said the Luzerne County Prison authorities and correctional officers had not done enough to help the inmate. She should have been placed on suicide watch in the first place.
“‘Doesn’t anybody care,’ Moss asked. ‘It’s time to reassess the evaluations as people are brought into booking and how they are housed’ in jails.
Dobash also lamented the number of incidents at the prison within a short period of time, saying ‘this is suspicious’ and ‘not enough is done to investigate’ the circumstances surrounding the suicide attempts to prevent them.”
Prison suicides are an increasing epidemic in the U.S. and in prisons across the globe. It’s up to us as prison loved ones to provide them with the love, support and visits they need to survive their prison terms.
How do you support your loved ones in prison? Share some tips with our audience in the comments below.