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Investigator: Logs falsified in Ohio prison suicide

6:36 PM, Sep 17, 2013   |    comments
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A state investigation found corrections officers falsified electronic logs and failed to do required security checks of convicted killer Billy Slagle on the day he was found hanging in his cell.

Slagle is one of two high-profile inmates who were found hanging in their Ohio prison cells recently. The other inmate is Ariel Castro.

Ohio prisons Director Gary Mohr told the Investigator Tom Meyer that national experts have been hired to review all departmental policies and procedures.

Mohr refused to discuss the Castro case, saying it was an ongoing investigation.

He also refused comment on the Slagle investigation, even though his own department released findings of its investigation.

The ACLU of Cleveland says it's the state's responsibility to insure the safety of inmates so that inmates can serve the sentences imposed by judges.

But spokesman Nick Worner said guards and administrators can't be scapegoats in prison suicides.

"I don't think you can look at this issue without looking at the issue of mass incarceration as a whole, and the fact that the system is overburdened," said Worner.

Mohr explained that inmates use any property they're allowed to have in a cell to kill themselves.

When asked if he can insure inmates safety, Mohr said he didn't know of a prison system in the country that has had zero suicides. "I am not going to guarantee that," he said.

So far this year, eight inmates have killed themselves in Ohio prisons.

In the Castro case, questions still remain about whether Castro was properly screened for suicide risk and for mental illness.

Castro lawyer Craig Weintraub says the state rejected his request for Castro to undergo a comprehensive psychiatric review.

Mohr said two officers in the Slagle case face disciplinary action for not only falsifying the times they were supposed to monitor the inmate, but for not doing the regular security checks as required by the state.


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