Castro Had Been on Suicide Watch Through June

Ohio to conduct 2 reviews, one customary, one specific to Castro

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 5, 2013 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Ariel Castro wasn't on suicide watch when he hanged himself on Tuesday, but he had been previously. Much of the media—as well as Ohio's prison system—is still asking why and how, with much of the focus zeroing in on why he wasn't on suicide watch. Castro lawyer Craig Weintraub yesterday said his request for a psychological evaluation of Castro was denied just two weeks before the suicide, and he tells Cleveland.com why he made the request—because Castro had previously been on suicide prevention at Cuyahoga County Jail. The AP reports that lasted until early June, and was apparently spurred by a 2004 letter that mentioned suicide.

The Daily Beast notes that Castro's watch ended after officials assessing his situation found he wasn't displaying enough risk factors, and explains prison officials may have had good reason to keep him off it. It spoke with an expert on suicide prevention in prisons, who says that Castro's risk factors (among them, the fact that he was never getting out of jail) were never going to change; perpetual suicide watch isn't the answer. Meanwhile, Ohio's prison system is making an attempt to get to the bottom of it: The state's prison director yesterday ordered a customary review of the suicide, but also ordered a second review into Castro and his care. As for what Castro's victims think about his death, CNN reports they plan to keep silent.

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2013 file photo, Ariel Castro bows his head in the courtroom during his sentencing sentencing in Cleveland. Castro, 53, now serving a life sentence for the kidnapping and rape,...   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, FILE)
This file photo shows Ariel Castro standing before a judge during his arraignment on an expanded 977-count indictment in Cleveland.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, file)
In this July 26, 2013 Ariel Castro sits in a Cleveland courtroom where he pleaded guilty to 937 counts of rape and kidnapping.   (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)
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