Ohio reviewing Ariel Castro's prison cell suicide (VIDEO)
Friday, September 6, 2013
CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio’s prison system is reviewing how Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro — perhaps the most notorious figure behind bars in the state — managed to hang himself with a bedsheet while in protective custody.
Castro was a month into his life sentence for holding three women captive in his home for a decade when he committed suicide Tuesday night. Protective custody involves checks every 30 minutes.
Ohio prisons director Gary Mohr ordered two reviews Wednesday, less than a day after Castro was found in his cell and medical responders were unable to revive him.
One review will look at the suicide — normal in such cases — while the other is an examination of Castro’s circumstances and whether he received the proper medical and mental health care leading up to his suicide.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio called for an investigation into Castro’s death as well as the question of whether inmates are getting the mental health treatment they need.
“As horrifying as Mr. Castro’s crimes may be, the state has a responsibility to ensure his safety from himself and others,” ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link said in a statement.
Castro, 53, had been taken off suicide watch while in county jail and was in protective custody in prison, a status reserved for high-profile convicts who could be in danger from other inmates.
As part of that status, he was in a cell by himself being checked every 30 minutes at an inmate intake prison south of Columbus, said JoEllen Smith, a Rehabilitation and Correction Department spokeswoman.
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