D.C. jail inmate found hanged in cell

August 5, 2013

A D.C. jail inmate was found dead Monday in what appeared to be the fourth suicide since November at the 1,800-inmate detention facility.

The death came little more than a month after the head of the D.C. Corrections Department announced steps to reduce suicide risks.

In Monday’s incident, the department said Mike Johnson, 53, of Southwest Washington apparently hanged himself in his cell. After resuscitation efforts, he was taken to the Prince George’s Hospital Center and pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m.

Johnson was sent to the jail Dec. 31. He had been charged with first-degree sexual abuse while armed, the department said. An investigation is underway.

On June 29, Walter Calloway, 42, of Southeast was found hanged in his cell. He had been charged with child sexual abuse.

On June 18, Paul Manning, 58, a lawyer charged with sexually assaulting a Labor Department co-worker, was found in his cell with his throat cut.

In November, Michael English, 30, who was charged in a stabbing, was found hanged in his cell.

In a July 1 statement, Corrections Department chief Tom Faust said his office was reviewing policies “to ensure all available resources are devoted to preventing future occurrences.”

Under one change, the frequency of security checks was to be increased from every 30 minutes to every 15. Other steps included seeking help in reviewing the department’s mental health evaluations.

A 2010 national study of jail suicides found the rate to be about four per 10,000 inmates.

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