ConsortiumNews/John Kiriakou: "How a Suicide Watch Really Works"

"How a Suicide Watch Really Works"

By John Kiriakou

"A cottage industry has been spawned over the past week for the chattering classes on every network to comment on the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier charged with sex-trafficking of underage girls. 

The talking heads have also babbled on about the inner workings of federal prisons.  Nearly every word I’ve heard is either factually incorrect, out of context, or fantastical.  I spent 23 months in a federal penitentiary and served on  suicide watch over a fellow inmate.  So I can set the record straight about how a suicide watch works in federal prisons, and about the conditions that led Epstein, apparently, to take his own life.  If Epstein’s death turns out to have been an actual suicide, it would be the result of a complete breakdown in the system that was supposed to protect him.

First, suicide watch in the federal prison system is a big deal.  When a prisoner is suicidal, or has attempted suicide, he is placed in a designated “suicide watch room.”  It is a physical room in the medical unit where one wall is a window.  The prisoner is stripped naked and given a paper smock to wear.  There are no sheets or pillowcases on the bed. So the prisoner doesn’t harm himself, there is nothing else inside the room other than a sink and a toilet. Outside that window wall, a rotating shift of prisoner volunteers sits 24 hours a day to watch the prisoner to make sure he doesn’t attempt suicide again.  There are also video cameras inside the room to ensure the prisoner does not try to harm himself.  Uniformed guards check on the prisoner every 30 minutes, and a nurse, physician’s assistant, or psychologist visits the prisoner at least once a day.

NYC prison where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead.
(Jim Henderson, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

When the prisoner is released from suicide watch, which usually takes a week or two, one of two things happen:  Either the prisoner is returned to his cell, where he normally has between one and five cellmates, or he is sent to solitary confinement, where he can be watched more closely than he could be watched in the general population.  In most prisons, solitary confinement is not at all solitary.  Solitary confinement is usually grossly overcrowded with two or even three prisoners in each cell built for one.  One prisoner is in a bunk and the other one or two sleep on mats on the floor.  Depending on the prison, guards patrol the unit every 15 or 30 minutes to make sure than nothing untoward is taking place.  And don’t forget that there are security cameras that cover literally every inch of a prison every minute of every day.  At least, there are supposed to be.

Many Mistakes

So how did Epstein kill himself, if that’s what happened?  Every safeguard at every turn had to fail.  First, we know that Epstein was not on suicide watch.  He had been removed, despite the fact that he had only recently attempted suicide. That was a mistake. 

We know also that Epstein was returned to a two-man cell and that his cellmate had been transferred to another prison, leaving him alone there.  That was a mistake. 

We know that two of the three guards who were responsible for watching Epstein were not trained corrections officers. The prison was short staffed — most are — and two of the three guards were actually supposed to be assigned elsewhere in the prison.  (Secretaries, nurses, even the dentist and the chaplain sometimes pitch in when there aren’t enough guards.)  That was a mistake.

Two of the three guards also were exhausted. One had worked overtime five days in a row and another was working mandatory overtime.  That was a mistake.  The guards were supposed to make rounds every 30 minutes to make sure that everything was in order and no prisoners were in danger.  They didn’t do that.  That was yet another mistake."

read the rest here: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/08/14/john-kiriakou-how-a-suicide-w...

Thanks to Consortium News and John Kiriakou 

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Thats so cute, that is what I do when I am not getting any attention, I talk to myself, but I have a advantage, guess what it is?.....:)

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