Suicides, attempted suicides up in Texas prisons

LOVELADY, Texas (AP) - Suicides and attempted in Texas prisons are up 40 percent over the last seven full years, in a trend that troubles advocates for prison reform.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the increases occur as the overall prison population decreases. The number of inmates in the Texas prison system has fallen nearly 5 percent.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the annual number of suicides went from 22 in 2008 to 31 in 2014. Twenty-three inmates have committed suicide so far in 2015.

Attempted suicides went from 750 in 2008 to 980 this year.

Advocates say the increase in attempted suicides suggests jailers are catching inmates in the act of taking their own lives - but that suicidal inmates shouldn't have the opportunity in the first place.