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Suicides at the Lancaster County Prison were costing taxpayers

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LANCASTER, Pa. - The Lancaster County Prison Board says between 2010-2015 the inmate suicide rate was at an all-time high. It leaped 450% when compared to 1985-2010.

"We get sued for virtually all of them. So, even if we win, we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars or potentially millions of dollars when you add it all together on these cases. That's taxpayer money," said Commissioner and Prison Board member Josh Parsons.

The warden and the board decided something needed to be done. They created a suicide prevention committee and had staff go through special training. On Friday, they announced there were no inmate suicides in 2016.

"I think the there were 7 staff members involved in 2 different situations as result of that and you know that all goes with the morale. Their extra motivation, their skills and the training that have received. I am very grateful to them," said Warden Cheryl Steberger.

Steberger says the cost of prevention is much less than the cost one one inmate suicide.