Anchorage inmate in critical condition after suicide attempt

Zaz Hollander,Tegan Hanlon

A 24-year-old man incarcerated at Anchorage Correctional Complex remains hospitalized in critical condition after he tried to hang himself in his cell on Sunday morning, according to a news release from the state Department of Corrections.

The man, whose name was not provided "to protect the family's privacy," was found unresponsive by a nurse distributing medication to inmates around 6:45 a.m., said Sherrie Daigle, the department's deputy director. He had tied bed sheets into a noose.

Daigle said the man was in solitary confinement for behavioral problems. She said she could not say how long he was in isolation, citing the "ongoing investigation."

He had been in custody since April 2 after being jailed on a probation violation from a 2009 second-degree assault charge.

The man's cell was not monitored by a security camera, but Daigle said officers check on the inmates every 30 to 35 minutes, 24 hours a day. "There is currently an internal investigation taking place to (ensure) that all safety protocols were followed," she said in an email. The investigation could take up to a week.

She said she could not release the number of cells under camera surveillance as a safety and security precaution.

"The cells with the cameras are reserved for the most extreme behavioral cases and for someone that is under suicide protocols because the medical staff has found a credible risk of suicide exists during the screening process," she said.

Medical staff did not believe the man was suicidal, she said.

When the man was found jail staff intervened and performed CPR until medics arrived, officials say. The man was taken to a hospital.

Reach Zaz Hollander at or 257-4317. Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.