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Tuesday, October 20, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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State prison inmates no longer will be disciplined for ‘self-harm’

Beginning Friday, inmates in Washington state prisons will no longer be disciplined for hurting themselves or attempting suicide, a news release from the state Department of Corrections said. Attempts at self-harm in the past have resulted in inmates losing good–conduct time. In cases where offenders lost good-conduct time only for attempting to hurt themselves, that time will be restored, the release said.

Jumper’s past played role in police actions

Tired and ready for resolution, Spokane police negotiators called an officer who already had experience talking Josh Levy down from suicide attempts. What he told them changed their strategy in ending a 20-hour standoff July 27 on the Monroe Street Bridge. Officer Dave Shurick, a negotiator with the Poulsbo Police Department in Western Washington, told them Levy was unpredictable – a troubled man with a history of changing his mind at the last second. One suicide attempt in May stuck in Shurick's memory: Levy had agreed to have officers pull him to safety, only to decide to jump off a bridge once a deputy got hold of him.

Police feared ‘dramatic ending’

Spokane police made the decision to Taser a bridge jumper Friday after learning he allegedly had attempted to pull an officer over with him during a previous suicide attempt elsewhere, the Spokane police chief said Wednesday. At the tail end of 20 hours of talking to Josh Levy from the edge of the Monroe Street Bridge, authorities heard from an out-of-town officer who warned that Levy, during one of several other suicide attempts throughout the state, grabbed him when officers rushed Levy, Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick said at a news conference. They started to fall over a bridge railing, but another officer held on to them, she said.