Ralph Kosbruk, 44, was convicted of sexually abusing a minor in 2005, according to the Alaska Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry. On January 1, 2011, he was booked into the Anchorage Correctional Center East for an undisclosed parole violation.
Just hours later Kosbruk leaped to his death from a second-tier balcony, stated Department of Corrections (DOC) spokesman Richard Schmitz. An autopsy was requested even though foul play was not suspected.
Kosbruk became the fifth prisoner to commit suicide by jumping from heights inside Alaskan correctional facilities since the state began keeping such statistics in 1984, according to Laura Brooks, the DOC’s director of behavioral health. Kosbruk’s suicide is at least the second such incident in less than three years. In October 2008, a 46-year-old man jumped to his death from a second-story catwalk at the jail.
Citing medical privacy laws, Brooks would not reveal how Kosbruk responded to an initial suicide screening when he was booked into the facility.
“I can tell you that if someone came in and made statements that raise any kind of suspicion, they would have been put on suicide watch for a minimum of 24 hours,” Brooks said. Such prisoners are usually placed in an acute care psychiatric unit which – unlike most jail housing units – has wire mesh on the upper tier. Kosbruk was not on suicide watch when he died, according to Brooks.
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