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After Rash Of Suicides, D.C. Makes Changes At Jail

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In the District, city officials say they are making changes at the D.C. Jail to reduce the number of suicides.

Four inmates have killed themselves in the jail since last fall, including three in just the past two months. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander says all four inmates who committed suicide were accused sex offenders, and so from now on all inmates charged with sex offenses will be housed in cells with other people. Quander says that will reduce the likelihood than an inmate will commit suicide.

There will also be additional mental health assessments for accused sex offenders, he says.

Other changes include more frequent checks on inmates by correctional officers. The guards will now check in every 15 minutes as opposed to every 30 minutes.

The D.C. Council is expected to hold a hearing on the issue when members return to work in the fall.


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