Suicides, attempted suicides up in Texas prisons

Prisoners stand at the western fence as law enforcement officials from a wide variety of agencies converge on the Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 in response to a prisoner uprising at the private immigration detention center. (AP Photo/Valley Morning Star, David Pike)

LOVELADY, Texas (AP) — Suicides in Texas prisons have risen between the last seven full years, a trend that troubles advocates for prison reform.

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

The Dallas Morning News reports the increases have occurred as the overall prison population has decreased. The number of inmates in the Texas prison system has fallen nearly 5 percent since 2008.

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

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