Luzerne County Prison is seeing a spike in prison suicides and prison deaths. Now, a mother wants answers about her daughter's prison suicide.
Prison Suicides & Deaths

Mother of Luzerne County Inmate Seeks Answers on Daughter’s Prison Suicide

Debbie Griesing is mourning while pressing hard to get answers on the details of her daughter’s prison suicide. Brooke Griesing, 23, was among three different women inmates who died in Luzerne County PA Correctional Facility in June and July of this year.

Luzerne County Coroner says inmate Brooke Griesing committed suicide by hanging herself in her Luzerne cell. Now, her mother is demanding answers about daughter's prison suicide.
Luzerne County Coroner says inmate Brooke Griesing committed suicide by hanging herself in her Luzerne cell. Now, her mother is demanding answers about daughter’s prison suicide.

Griesing, hung herself using a sheet on June 8, in the Lyzerne prison located on Water Street in Wilkes-Barre. The suicidal prisoner had been denied bail following her arrest on June 6.

The crimes Debbie Griesing were charged with included:

  • Theft
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Drug possession
  • Several traffic offenses

Actual Reason Behind Debbie Griesing’s Prison Suicide

Mother Investigates Her Own Daughter’s Prison Suicide in Luzerne County Jail

Debbie insists that her daughter wasn’t suicidal. She believes the inmate’s thinking was influenced by the consequences of heroin withdrawal in the facility, which led to her daughter’s prison suicide. The prison mom questions the precautions that the facility adopts to secure such inmates.

In August, Sheila Saidman, a county council candidate, raised this concern in a meeting. Saidman requested a discussion on frameworks for detainees withdrawing from drugs as that can cause reactions in itself.

However, Mark Rockovich, the County Correctional Division Head defended the facility. Rockovich stated that the Luzerne County PA Correctional Facility has a procedure of medical detoxification for all alcohol and drug addicts who enter the facility.

Luzerne County Prison is seeing a spike in prison suicides and prison deaths. Now, a mother wants answers about her daughter's prison suicide.
Luzerne County Prison is seeing a spike in prison suicides and prison deaths. Now, a mother wants answers about her daughter’s prison suicide.

He added that prison medical personnel monitor the inmates having withdrawals closely, and take necessary actions.

However, Rockovich denied to detail the medications offered to inmates, naming only buprenorphine. According to experts, buprenorphine is only essential to those under opioid detoxification programs.

Detecting withdrawal isn’t easy. It’s because some inmates don’t reveal the extent which they’re addicted to drugs. Rockovich argues that giving such information when you’re arrested is critical for the personal benefit.

Other Luzerne Inmates Who Died In June & July 2017

Griesing’s family, through attorney Eugene Sperazza, seeks to investigate the story behind Brooke Griesing’s prison suicide. Yet, two other women prisoners died between June and July of 2017 in the Luzerne County jail:

  1. Tricia Cooper is among the three women inmates who died in those two months. Cooper died July 25, after hanging herself.
  2. The death of Luzerne inmate Joan Rosengrant, which occurred on July 7, was ruled accidental. Rosengrant’s death was caused by the effect of prescription drugs that was worsened by her unknown physical condition.

Debbie Griesing stressed that if her legal inquiry results in a monetary award, she’ll give it all to her daughter’s 7-year-old son. The prison mom insists that Griesing wasn’t a bad person. She just needed assistance, which the prison didn’t give her. And, that is the cause of her daughter’s prison suicide.

New Program Could Spot Suicidal Inmates Upon Entry

David Pedri, County Manager, said that investigations into the prison Luzerne women prisoners’ deaths is ongoing. The outcome will help to address these incidents. Prison officials are collaborating with two departments to curb such inmate suicide cases:

  1. Mental health personnel
  2. County developmental services offices

They hope to create a prison suicide program that aims to secure social workers so they can:

  • Undertake suicide screenings of some inmates
  • Offer additional training to prison employees

Also, Rockovich has approached numerous correctional facilities, both locally and throughout the state. He sought new ideas on how to detect suicidal prisoners. Currently, the county’s medical support provider is partnering with the prison facility to furnish emergency psychiatric intervention.

Earlier on Rockovich stated other steps that the prison has already adopted to detect suicide risks. They include:

  • Training programs for every correctional officer
  • Analyzing forms filled by the officers transposing detainees to the facility
  • Analyzing questionnaires administered to inmates by nurses and prison staffers

Provisions of an additional questionnaires for new inmates is among the changes being eyed. This will help prison staff better understand the needs of prisoners who may be suicidal.

Daniel Peterson is a young professional with diverse experience in content writing and content management. He has a strong blog writing background, and runs his own e-commerce partnership business. Daniel currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.

Daniel Peterson

Daniel Peterson is a young professional with diverse experience in content writing and content management. He has a strong blog writing background, and runs his own e-commerce partnership business. Daniel currently writes news articles for prison loved ones on the Prison Rideshare Network.