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State Considers Putting Inmates In Charge Of Suicide Watch

Credit mikecogh via Flickr Creative Commons


New Hampshire's Department of Corrections is considering allowing inmates to conduct suicide watches in the wake of ongoing staffing shortages.

Commissioner William Wrenn tells the Concord Monitor they believe the program could help both inmates and the department. He says he hopes to receive a proposal by the end of October. Only certain inmates with clean disciplinary records would be considered to participate.

The model has been used at the federal level for at least a decade.

Guards are currently responsible for suicide watches. They can last several hours and require in-person checks every 15 minutes.

Department officials did not have data available Thursday on the number of inmates placed on suicide watch each year, though Wrenn described that number as "significant."

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