September 17, 2013

For Immediate Release

 CONTACT:  DRC Office of Communications


 Independent Consultants Hired to Review Ohio’s Prison Suicides

(Columbus) – Today, Gary Mohr, Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC), announced two independent national corrections experts will conduct a review of Ohio’s prison suicides.  Fred Cohen, Esq., and Lindsay Hayes, will examine the two recent high profile suicides of death row inmate Billy Slagle on August 4, 2013 and Ariel Castro on September 3, 2013. 

In addition to reviewing the circumstances surrounding the most recent suicides, these experts will expand their review to suicides that have occurred during the past two years.  The examination will include an in-depth analysis of all DRC policies and procedures relevant to suicide prevention to determine if any improvements are warranted.  DRC is committed to providing total access to staff, inmates and the necessary resources for the completion of this review. 

Fred Cohen is currently a Professor of Law and Criminal Justice Emeritus at the School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany and a corrections conditions expert used by national corrections systems and federal courts.  Lindsay Hayes is Project Director of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives and a nationally recognized expert in the field of suicide prevention within jails, prisons and juvenile facilities. 

Mr. Cohen and Mr. Hayes will arrive in Ohio in early October and a report will be prepared and made publicly available on or before November 15, 2013.