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Old 06-07-2005, 05:41 PM
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2nd Prison Suicide Reported In 4 Days
Davis Was Serving Robbery Sentence

POSTED: 6:40 pm EDT June 7, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- An inmate committed suicide Tuesday at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, the second suicide at the prison in four days, the state prisons system said.

Joseph A. Davis, 23, serving a four-year robbery sentence out of Logan County, hanged himself in his cell and was found shortly after 2 p.m., said Andrea Dean, spokeswoman for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

An inmate in a different cell block at the Lucasville prison hanged himself Saturday.

Davis' death was the fifth inmate suicide this year and follows a record 11 suicides last year.

Prisons director Reginald Wilkinson planned to meet Wednesday with the wardens and security chiefs of the state's 32 prisons to discuss ways to prevent additional suicides.

"Our goal is to attempt to keep the number of suicides as low as we possibly can," Dean said. "Hopefully after the meeting tomorrow, we'll walk away with some more tools we can utilize."

The state has been implementing some of the recommendations made in November by a consultant it hired in the wake of the high suicide rate in 2004.

Those include more staff training and more thorough screening of inmates, especially those new to prison and those being placed into segregation units for discipline.
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