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Judge Refuses to Order Changes to Report on Inmate Suicide
New York Law Journal ^ | 04/02/12 | Joel Stashenko

Posted on 04/02/2012 6:37:37 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines

ALBANY - A judge has refused to order a state commission that monitors conditions at county jails to rewrite its final report on the suicide of an inmate at the behest of Ontario County officials who argued, in part, that the findings would make it harder to defend themselves against a civil suit filed by the prisoner's widow.

The Commission of Correction acted within the powers given it by state law when it adopted the report on the 2009 suicide of Bruce Morgan in the Ontario County Correctional Facility in Canandaigua, Acting Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin in Albany.

The commission's Medical Review Board is charged by law with investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of any inmate at a correctional facility in New York state and to make recommendations, when appropriate, "to prevent the recurrence of such deaths to the commission and the administrator of the appropriate correctional facility."

Ontario County officials had been seeking since the commission sent them a preliminary report on Morgan's suicide in September 2010 to have changes made to the findings, which the county said in its complaint were "invalid and unenforceable."

The commission adopted the report over the county's objections in December 2010.

"The fact that defendants' opinions regarding the factors that caused an inmate's death and their recommendations for reform may have collateral consequences in a civil litigation does not and cannot deprive the Commission and Board of its statutory jurisdiction," Platkin wrote. "Nor does it entitle plaintiffs to compel the Commission and Board to rewrite its Final Report so as to remove criticism of the County for failing to provide mental health diagnosis, evaluation and treatment services" to Morgan.

Morgan, 43, hung himself in his cell in the early morning hours of Christmas Day 2009.

"Despite nearly constant complaints of mental disorder symptoms while incarcerated, he received no mental health diagnosis, evaluation or treatment due to negligent supervision of non-clinical mental health care providers and a failure to observe, i.e., constraints of licensure," the commission's report stated.

The commission said jail personnel also violated commission standards because they did not keep records of the discovery of Morgan's body and the response of staff, including efforts to revive him. The nursing staff at the jail also did not follow the facility's own rules on inmate suicide prevention, the commission concluded.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: bruce; county; inmate; morgan; ontario; suicide

1 posted on 04/02/2012 6:37:44 PM PDT by Behind Liberal Lines
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
A judge has refused to order a state commission that monitors conditions at county jails to rewrite its final report on the suicide of an inmate at the behest of Ontario County officials who argued, in part, that the findings would make it harder to defend themselves against a civil suit filed by the prisoner's widow.

Right...because the entire purpose for the law is to ensure an easy life for tax-eaters. D'oh! Good on the judge for not buying it, though.

2 posted on 04/02/2012 6:45:38 PM PDT by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

Suicides of prisoners...except for those very few who are *truly* innocent and those with light sentences and short rap sheets...are a *good* thing.If I ever find myself on a jury hearing such a lawsuit my vote would be...”not one red cent”.


3 posted on 04/02/2012 7:09:36 PM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Jimmy Carter Is No Longer The Worst President To Have Served In My Lifetime.)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines
Joel Stashenko is barely literate. The past tense of hang is hanged.
4 posted on 04/02/2012 7:29:48 PM PDT by seton89 (Are the Ten Commandments a living document?)
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To: Behind Liberal Lines

when it comes to a noose, humans are hanged, not hung.....that depicts something else....you can be both or neither.


5 posted on 04/02/2012 8:11:31 PM PDT by terycarl (lurking, but well informed)
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