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Five Guard Suicides Within One Year at Ohio Prison

On July 1, 2016, a Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) guard committed suicide. That made a total of five SOCF guards who terminated their own lives within the space of a year. At the time of their deaths, three were actively working at SOCF, one had recently retired, and one was on probation.

"The one officer that just killed himself received a two-day working suspension for absenteeism but he had every minute covered," said Randall Hiles, president of Local 7330 of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association. "I thought for sure it would be dropped. I'm not saying that's the main reason he killed himself. I'm saying I know that he was really stressed out over that disciplinary issue.”

"I hope they look at this. I thought they would after the first suicide and take measures to stop this but nothing has been done."

One study in Michigan showed mental health deterioration among prison guards was related to workplace exposure to violence, injury and death--similar to how this affects members of the military--but not related to prior military service or gender. It is unknown how this relates to the unnamed guards.