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NC suicide watch program will recruit inmates

The inmates would get training and take notes every 15 minutes while watching those considered a suicide risk

By Corrections1 Staff

RALEIGH, N.C. — In response to the increased suicide rates in North Carolina prisons, officials will launch a pilot project to have inmates watch other inmates who are considered a suicide risk.

The project will launch later this year, WRAL reports. The program is still in the planning stages and officials still haven’t decided how many inmates will be chosen.

According to The Charlotte Observer, a record 12 inmates in state custody died by suicide in 2018 compared to six in 2017 and seven in 2016. The system also has seen an increase in inmates with mental health issues, with the percentage of prisoners with an illness nearly doubling since 2007.

Inmates in the program would get training and take notes every 15 minutes during their watch time, then call for staff if help is needed.

The pilot program is the result of a task force the state formed to tackle the rise in inmate suicides.