|American jailers under scrutiny over cell suicide
American Civil rights groups have raised questions on how prison officials failed to a ensure the safety of a convicted rapist and kidnapper who killed himself in his cell.
The Ohio prison system announced a reviewing to find out how Ariel Castro managed to hang himself with a bed sheet while in protective custody.
Castro was a month into his life sentence for holding three women captive in his Cleveland home for a decade when he committed suicide Tuesday night. Protective custody involves checks every 30 minutes.
Ohio prisons director Gary Mohr ordered two reviews Wednesday, AP reports.
One review will look at the suicide, while the other is an examination of Castro's circumstances and whether he received the proper medical and mental health care leading up to his suicide.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio called for an investigation into Castro's death as well as the question of whether all inmates are getting the mental health treatment they need.
“As horrifying as Mr Castro's crimes may be, the state has a responsibility to ensure his safety from himself and others,'' ACLU of Ohio executive director Christine Link said in a statement.
Castro, 53, had been taken off suicide watch while in county jail and was in protective custody in prison, a status reserved for high-profile inmates who could be in danger from other inmates.
As part of that status, he was in a cell by himself being checked every 30 minutes at an inmate intake prison south of Columbus, said JoEllen Smith, a Rehabilitation and Correction Department spokeswoman.
State police are also investigating.
Residents in the westside Cleveland neighborhood where three women were secretly imprisoned reacted with scorn and grim satisfaction Wednesday to Castro's death.
“He took the coward's way out,'' said Elsie Cintron, who lived up the street from the former school bus driver. “We're sad to hear that he's dead, but at the same time, we're happy he's gone, and now we know he can't ask for an appeal or try for one if he's acting like he's crazy.''