An inmate at Lumberton Correctional Institution in eastern North Carolina died Monday of an apparent suicide, a state news release said.
Gerard Altman, 42, was found unresponsive in a dormitory at 3:38 a.m. He had been in prison since 2011 and was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder.
Six inmates have killed themselves in North Carolina prisons this year, according to the Department of Public Safety.
In November, inmate Terry Poole committed suicide at Lanesboro Correctional Institution, southeast of Charlotte.
Last year, seven inmates reportedly killed themselves compared to three in 2015.
State prison leaders started a plan in 2016 to prevent inmate suicides. The plan requires staff members to be trained to recognize whether inmates are at risk of committing suicide. It also requires that every prison conduct three mock drills each year to prepare staff on how to handle an attempted suicide in progress.
Lumberton Correctional is a medium-custody prison with a capacity of nearly 770 inmates.
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