After Spike in Deaths, New Jersey Looks to Prevent Suicides in Jails

WNYC News | December 14, 2018 | Social
By one count, Garden State had the highest rate of deaths in custody of any large jail system in the United States

prisoner jail drug addict
New Jersey’s Department of Corrections is rolling out a series of initiatives aimed at preventing suicides in county jails, weeks after a WNYC investigation into the jail system found an increasing number of deaths in custody.

“One suicide is too many,” Acting Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks said in a statement. “These initiatives are designed to lead to improved outcomes. While the NJDOC does not have a role in the daily operations of county jails, the Department will remain vigilant in establishing suicide prevention standards that must be met by each county jail.”

Reporters Audrey Quinn and Matt Katz found the increase in deaths was largely driven by suicides tied to mental illness and drug addiction. By one count, New Jersey had the highest rate of deaths in custody of any large jail system in the country.

Read the full story on WNYC News, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.