- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 2, 2016

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Department of Corrections said it mishandled the death of a 25-year-old female inmate.

A department spokesman told MLive it should have quickly notified Michigan State Police of the November 2015 death of Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility inmate Janika Edmond, who killed herself.

“We think it’s clear that the referral should have been made,” said department spokesman Chris Gautz.

Police reports obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show Edmond yelled that she wanted a suicide-prevention vest, but never got one. The documents also show that a corrections officer may have pumped her fist, given a thumbs-up and said “somebody owes me lunch” in response to Edmond’s plea. The documents support the Edmond family attorney’s claims that guards placed a bet.

Edmond was in prison for violating probation in a previous criminal case. Edmond was declared dead several days after being admitted to the hospital.

Gautz said the case is not clear and that deciding whether there was criminal behavior involved is something “for a prosecutor to ultimately decide.”

Washtenaw County prosecutors are reviewing a police investigation. The Corrections Department fired two guards after its own review in March, but those former guards haven’t been criminally charged.

Gautz said any policy changes would be determined by the Corrections Department.

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Information from: The Ann Arbor News, http://www.mlive.com/ann-arbor

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