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Michigan Prison Guards Fired Following Suicide Bet

Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) guards Dianna Callahan and Kory Moore were suspended and subsequently fired on March 10, 2016 following the suicide of prisoner Janika Nichole Edmond, 25, at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in November 2015.

David S. Steingold, an attorney who represents Edmond’s family, is investigating whether the two guards took the woman’s suicide threats seriously. He claims other prisoners reported that Callahan made “a bet, jokingly, with another guard” that Edmond would ask for a suicide prevention garment. When she requested one, Callahan said someone owed her lunch and left. Moore, the acting resident unit manager, was accused of spending only one minute addressing other guards’ concerns about Edmond shortly before she hung herself with her underwear in a shower area. She reportedly had prior mental health problems.

“I think it’s safe to assume that it will be our position that there was ... deliberate neglect of duty,” Steingold said, indicating a lawsuit may be filed. “Had the personnel at the jail followed their own policy and procedures – their own mandatory policies and procedures – Ms. Edmond would still be alive today.”

According to an MDOC policy directive, staff must respond to life-threatening suicidal behavior immediately and treat it as a medical emergency. Edmond was serving a sentence of 17 months to four years for a probation violation.


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