State corrections officials say two inmates in Iowa prisons committed suicide in the past week, raising concerns from an advocacy group. Margaret Stout, executive director of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of Iowa, says the suicides at Fort Madison and Mount Pleasant raise serious questions about security, procedures and precautions. Stout says “We wonder what might be happening to the individuals. Are they getting proper treatment and proper interventions by mental health folks or are they being neglected? We can’t tell.” 24-year-old Alan Leak of Des Moines, who was serving time for robbery, died Friday at Fort Madison from an overdose of antidepressant medication. Stout says that’s a big “red flag” that a problem exists. If he was able to hoard his medication in order to complete the suicide, Stout says “that tells me that there might be something going on in the monitoring that is not accurate. It does not look good when you find that somebody’s been able to collect medication, particularly within the criminal justice system.” 44-year-old Doreen Kneipp of Bettendorf died Saturday after jumping from a third-floor window at the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility. She went to prison in May after pleading guilty to trying to kill her two children with a drug overdose. A spokesman for the Iowa Department of Corrections has not returned Radio Iowa’s call.
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