Two inmates commit suicide within hours of each other at NM prison
December 07, 2018 10:18 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- December 2 turned out to be a deadly day at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas.
Keith Kosirog was found hanging in his cell at 9:53 in the morning.
Adonus Encinias was found hanging in his cell about 4 hours later, at 2:12 in the afternoon.
Both men were in solitary confinement, in different pods.
Attorney Matt Coyte, who has sued New Mexico jails and prisons, believes bad things can happen when people are forced into solitary confinement.
“Well, two inmates committing suicide in the same facility on the same day is a stark example of the toxic effects solitary confinement has on people in isolation, particularly the mentally ill,” Coyte said. “There is some evidence that at least one of them was severely mentally ill.”
Coyte does not represent Kosirog or Encinias.
However, online court documents show that Kosirog’s mental competency to stand trial was questioned.
During the last legislative session, the legislature passed a bill that would have made it illegal to place people with mental illnesses, children or pregnant women in solitary confinement, but Governor Susana Martinez vetoed it.
“It's so disappointing that the governor vetoed that bill because these are exactly the people we are trying to protect,” Coyte said.
To make matters direr, Kosirog hadn't been convicted of a crime.
Kosirog was charged with the non-violent crime of criminal damage to property in Tucumcari.
The county transferred him to a state prison for what they call "safekeeping."
“The evidence is clear that isolation is toxic for the mentally ill,” Coyte said. “Somebody who is mentally ill and sent to the prison because the jail can't handle them, for whatever reason, and ends up in isolation, is the policy for the department of corrections-- they are going to get worse. It's so obvious that it will get worse.”
As for Encinias, the state prison system said he had a medical problem that required him to be in segregation.
After KOB 4 reached out to the department of corrections, it released a statement that reads, in part, “We're saddened by these deaths and send our deepest condolences to the families of Mr. Encinias and Mr. Kosirog."
Updated: December 07, 2018 10:18 PM
Created: December 07, 2018 09:05 PM
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