Death in the D.C. jail


Both staffing and setting have contributed to the spate of suicides inside the D.C. jail, a report has found. (MARVIN JOSEPH/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Four D.C. jail inmates have died of suicide in the past year — an alarming record that grew more alarming after a public airing Thursday at a D.C. Council hearing. The statistics are staggering — 165 attempted suicides over a two-year period — and an assessment of the jail by a national expert, the Post’s Aaron C. Davis reports, faulted poor training among the corrections officers and health providers in the jail. Those lapses compound weaknesses in the jail itself, which can house well over 1,500 inmates but contains only nine “suicide-resistant” cells. Corrections Director Thomas Faust said he plans to spent $600,000 removing dangerous items from cells and retraining staff to avoid situations such as this one, reported by an advocacy lawyer: After Labor Department attorney Paul Mannina took his own life in June, fellow inmates were assigned to clean the bloody cell. One, suffering from bipolar disorder, required therapy afterward.

In other news:

Compared to states, D.C. is among highest gainers in latest NAEP results — but is still ranked last (PostWAMU-FMAPWUSA-TVWTTG-TV)

“School reform in the District is working.” (Post editorial)

In at-large race, Elissa Silverman bows out and Nate Bennett-Fleming jumps in (DofDLoose LipsDCistNateForDC.com)

It’s liberals vs. progressives, whatever that means (Post column)

On the political love triangle of Vince Gray, Rock Newman and Andy Shallal (Washingtonian)

Paul Zukerberg has to survive technical issues before he can save the AG election (DofDWaTimesDCist)

How murder evidence collected in 1984 finally led to an arrest (Post)

Cathy Lanier says she’s not interested in replacing NYC police commish Ray Kelly (WRC-TV)

Woman is struck by car and killed outside Marine Barracks (Post)

51-year-old Northeast resident charged in Minnesota Avenue shoe-store shooting (Post)

D.C. health exchange is now fully functional (WBJ)

Why don’t the proposed DCPS “career academies” include one that already exists and works? (GGW)

Two major landowners want out from Southwest BID (WBJ)

DDOT says most who have weighed in on the Cleveland Park service lane want to keep it (DCist)

Why, when it comes to building heights, D.C. is not like Paris (GGW)

Ten-screen luxury move theater planned for NoMa (WBJ)

Doug Jemal’s latest plans for Hecht warehouse: apartments (Capital Business)

Old Georgetown Board wants independent study before endorsing West Heating Plant demolition (WBJ)

Is it really that hard to prevent pop-ups? (RPUS)

“Third-world” comment leaves taxi driver group demanding apology (Washingtonian)

Howard University ends relationship with CFO who wasn’t actually a university employee (Post)

Eleanor Holmes Norton seeks back pay for low-wage contract staff on Capitol Hill (WJLA-TV)

Meet the new president of the Medical Society of D.C. (WBJ)

Robber caught on camera robbing pizzeria patrons will do 40 months for armed robbery (DCist)

Vince Gray, reporter-inquisitor in chief (Loose Lips)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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Mike DeBonis · November 7, 2013