1.48 SPECIAL REPORT: Prison suicide rates rise; solitary confinement adds to risk, Poughkeepsie Journal, October 17, 2010
Just days from her 23rd birthday in June and six months before possible release from prison, Danaroy Countryman did something that an unusually high number of state prison inmates have done this year. She hanged herself in her cell.
Countryman’s suicide at a Westchester County prison is one of 17 in state lockups so far in 2010 — 42 percent above the annual average for the past decade and, as of mid-October, a 70 percent increase over all of 2009.The rise in prison suicides comes three years after the state settled a federal lawsuit over prison suicides and after changes that officials say — and lawyers for inmates generally agree — have improved state prisons for inmates, such as Countryman, who suffer serious mental illness. Among these, about 400 treatment beds have been added for schizophrenic, severely depressed and bipolar inmates, including 99 at Green Haven Correctional Facility in Stormville.
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