Topic:
LIABILITY (LAW); PRISONS AND PRISONERS; SUICIDE; STATISTICAL INFORMATION;
Location:
PRISONS AND PRISONERS;

OLR Research Report


March 11, 2005

 

2005-R-0284

Revised

SUICIDES IN PRISONS

By: George Coppolo, Chief Attorney

You asked how many inmates committed suicides in prison in recent years. You also asked how many of these resulted in legal claims.

According to Anne Cournoyer of the Department of Correction (DOC), during the past 11 years at least 42 Connecticut inmates committed suicide. Table 1 shows the number of suicides by year from 1994 through 2004.

Table 1: Number of Suicides by Year From 1994 Through 2004.

Year

Number of Suicides

1994

2

1995

2

1996

3

1997

2

1998

2

1999

3

2000

6 (includes 1 in Virginia)

2001

4

2002

5

2003

4

2004

9

We were able to get a breakdown from DOC by facility during the past seven years. Table 2 below shows the number of suicides in the last seven years in each DOC facility.

Table 2: Number of Suicides by Facility During the Last Seven Years.

DOC Facility

Number of Suicides

Hartford

8

New Haven

5

Bridgeport

5

Corrigan

5

York

4

Garner

6

Manson Youth

2

Walker

1

McDougall

1

Facilities in Virginia

1

This year one suicide has occurred. It happened at the Bridgeport facility.

According to information provided by Richard Kehoe of the Attorney General's Office, since 1992, 12 lawsuits or claims have been filed against the state arising out of a prison suicide. Seven of them have been resolved. The other five are still pending. Of the seven resolved claims, five resulted in a payment and two were dismissed. The five payments were $750,000, $500,000, $150,000, $125,000 and $80,000.

We have enclosed a list that has the names of inmates on whose behalf a claim was brought and the result of each claim (enclosure 1). We have also enclosed a report from DOC that provides details about each suicide from 1992 through 2004 (enclosure 2). This information includes the inmates' name, date of death, sex, race, and status, and the prison facility where the death occurred.

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