By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Five inmates at Graterford prison have taken their own lives in the past three months. Prison officials have brought in an expert to help.

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections hired Lindsay Hayes- a national expert on jail suicides prevention.

They say he’ll review the policies and procedures at SCI Graterford and make any necessary adjustment.

“The number the fact that there had been five in 2018 is extremely distressing,” said Su Ming Yeh, an attorney at the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project.

She applauded the department’s move and says prisons have a duty to protect inmates from self-violence.

“It’s always a risk, but at the same time there are many things that the prison can do. So did they have proper screening? Did they have proper resources? Did they have the proper mental health and resources to address medical?”

Yeh says at least one of the inmates who died was on suicide watch, and notes reasons for suicides vary from inmate to inmate given the stress of incarceration.

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