Medical Abuse/Neglect and Suicide





Inmate, 27, hangs self at Bridgewater hospital

Boston man is 3d suicide in '07

By John Guilfoil, Globe Correspondent  |  April 1, 2007

A 27-year-old Boston man hanged himself Friday night in a shower at Bridgewater State Hospital, where he had been sent for a 30-day mental evaluation.

Jarred Aranda , who had been sent to the state hospital from the Bristol County jail, was pronounced dead at Brockton Hospital at 9:30 .

Aranda had been sentenced in January to a year in jail on several minor charges, said Diane Wiffin , Department of Correction spokeswoman.

Wiffin had no comment on whether the suicide could have been prevented.

An independent study of the state prison system released in February found serious shortcomings in the state's handling of inmates who are at risk of committing suicide.

The report, commissioned after a sharp increase in prisoner suicides in 2005 and 2006, concluded that prison policies and practices were contributing to the problem.

The Department of Correction brought in Lindsay Hayes, a prison suicide prevention specialist, to review the department's policies and practices, Wiffin said.

Hayes's report gave 29 recommendations and emphasized increased staff training, better communication, "suicide-resistant" housing for inmates, and changes to supervision practices.

"The Department of Correction is committed to the full implementation of the Hayes recommendations," Wiffin said yesterday. The department plans to implement all 29 recommendations and review the way the department manages mentally ill offenders, she said.

A lawsuit filed in US District Court by the Disability Law Center Inc. contends that one-quarter of the 11,000 inmates in the state prison system are mentally ill and criticizes the Department of Correction, saying it keeps hundreds of inmates in isolation too long.

Aranda's death remains under investigation, Wiffin said. He was the third inmate to commit suicide in 2007 and the 10th in the past 15 months. Those numbers are up from one suicide in 2004 and four in 2005.

In an unrelated event, Thomas Moriconi , 35, died of a heroin overdose March 28 at MCI-Shirley. His death was ruled accidental, Wiffin said.

Copyright 2007 The Boston Globe

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     Last Updated on Wednesday August 29, 2007.