Lawsuit claims guards joked, bet on inmate’s suicidal tendencies

Michigan Hall of Justice. Photo by Wikipedia User Jeffness.

Michigan Hall of Justice. Photo by Wikipedia User Jeffness.

A federal lawsuit claims state prison guards joked and made a bet on whether an inmate would try to kill herself before she took her own life.

The lawsuit says officers at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility ignored clear warning signs and 25-year-old Janika Edmonds’ requests for help before she hung herself. It says two of the guards placed a bet on whether Edmonds would attempt suicide. It also says the state Department of Corrections was aware that ignoring inmates’ mental health conditions was an ongoing problem at the women’s prison. The legal action says the guards disregarded procedures for dealing with mental health issues and violated Edmonds’ constitutional rights.

The lawsuit names the department, the warden, a deputy warden and 11 guards as defendants. The Corrections Department does not comment on pending legal actions.