Prison suicides have been rising for years. Experts fear the pandemic has made it worse.

By Keri Blakinger: For Entire Post, Click Here…

Mahogany Praylor said goodbye to her youngest brother in April, expecting to see him soon: He was going to prison, but only for a few months.

Kevin Praylor, 43, had long struggled with mental illness, and he’d gotten in trouble because he didn’t tell his parole officer he had moved in with his sister, where he felt safest during his bouts of paranoia.

But in mid-July, Kevin Praylor’s family got a call from the unit chaplain, informing them he had killed himself.

“He always said he was scared to die,” Mahogany Praylor said. “I never worried about him hurting himself.”

Her brother’s death was one of five suicides in Texas prisons in less than one week. It’s an unusual cluster of fatal self-harm behind bars, just the second time since 2005 that so many Texas prisoners have taken their lives in six days, according to data analyzed by the Texas Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that publishes data on the Texas criminal justice system.

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