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Ohio Prison Staff Union Head: Understaffing Could Be Connected to Inmate Suicide like Ariel Castro’s

Friday, September 6, 2013 at 6:48 PM

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The president of Ohio’s prison staff union says inmate violence and suicide, the like the one committed by Ariel Castro, will keep happening if the state’s prisons continue to go understaffed. Castro pleaded guilty to holding three women hostage in his Cleveland home for about 10 years. He was found dead in his prison cell on Tuesday.

Chris Mabe, president of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, says more and more prisoners are filling cells while corrections officers continue to be realigned or cut. The state is conducting an investigation to learn more about the events leading up to Castro’s death, and Mabe fears the result could make the correctional staff a scapegoat.

“When issues like this happen, that’s always a possibility,” Mabe said. “The first thing they go to is the correctional staff and try to find out, you know, what did we do wrong. Well, it’s not a matter of what did we do wrong, it’s what are we trying to do with the resources that we have.”

Mabe says an increase in prison activity such as inmate violence and suicide can be directly attributed to the staffing level inside that facility.

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