Mental problems (prisoner).

PositionBrief Article

U.S. Appeals Court


Comstock v. McCrary, 273 F.3d 693 (6th Cir. 2001). The personal representative of a prisoner's estate brought a civil rights action against prison medical personnel after the prisoner committed suicide while confined. The district court denied summary judgment for the defendants based on qualified immunity and the appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part. The appeals court held that evidence was sufficient to establish that a prison psychologist subjectively perceived, and was deliberately indifferent to, the risk that the prisoner might commit suicide. The psychologist had released the prisoner from a suicide watch without making any reasoned assessment or evaluation of the prisoner's suicide risk at the time of release, despite concluding that the prisoner was sufficiently at risk to put him on suicide watch only one day before. The psychologist also admitted that he suspected that other inmates had targeted the prisoner as a snitch, a characterization that he knew was very perilous for the priso ner...

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