New beds didn't prevent suicides at Lancaster County prison

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Feb 2, 2015 4:31 AM

(Lancaster) -- Two inmates committed suicide at the Lancaster County prison within the last month, and the incidents occurred in cells designed to make it more difficult to take one's life.

The two inmates -  21 year old Michael Lausell and 23 year old Zachary Keifer - died January 10th.

After a pair of suicides in a two-month span in 2014, prison staff mounted new beds directly against the wall in about a fourth of the cells to try to prevent suicides.

Lancaster County Commissioner Scott Martin says both men were staying in cells with the new beds.

"We often have to re-examine, and why we look at these incidents, is to make sure that is there something else that can be changed, because sometimes people will move on to a different thing, in order to try to do something to themselves," says Martin.

Martin says management faced no sanctions for the suicides.

But two guards were fired after the deaths, and the union is criticizing such a move.

As chairman of the Prison's Board, Martin has been in contact with the state Department of Corrections to come up with more actions to prevent suicides.

LNP says since 1998, 15 suicides have occured at the prison.


If you feel you are in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifelife at 800-273-TALK. It's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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