Report On Holding Center Suicide Expected Next Week

Buffalo, N.Y. - Sheriff's department officials say they may not have an official report until next week concerning what happened when a woman committed suicide at the Holding Center early Sunday morning.

This is the first suicide at the Holding Center in two years.

In this latest incident, a 26 year old woman from Brooklyn had been arrested in Buffalo on Friday on misdemeanor drug and weapons charges.

She was found unconscious in her cell early Sunday morning and later died at Buffalo General.

Scott Brown: "Did she undergo a mental health screening?"

Holding Center Superintendent Tom Diina: "All inmates undergo a mental health screening upon admission to the facility."

Scott Brown: "And did that show any sort of concern?"

Tom Diina: "I can't comment on that at this time."

Scott Brown: "What are you hoping can be learned from something like this?"

Tom Diina: "We always look to the policy and procedure to see if it was something that could have been avoided through policy and procedure. Or, if it's the actions of an individual who failed to follow policy and procedure."

Following a rash of suicides at the Holding Center in the past, the county had entered into a consent decree with the federal government where it agreed to add mental health staffers and have two independent monitors report to the Department of Justice about how the facility was operating when it came to trying to prevent suicides.

The New York Civil Liberties Union sued to have those monitoring reports made public and earlier this month, a federal court said the county had to release the reports.

In response to a question from 2 On Your Side, the county said on Monday that it hasn't yet decided if it will appeal that decision..

Scott Brown spoke by phone on Monday with the local head of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Scott Brown: "Your basic reaction once you heard there'd been another suicide?"

John Curr: "Not again. One is one too many, that the number keeps rising after all these years I have to continue to ask just what in the hell is going on over there? We certainly don't know because we don't have our hands on the (monitors') reports. We will."

In addition to the Sheriff's Office, the investigation into the suicide also includes the county's Mental Health and Health departments.


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