Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

New York State
Department of Correctional Services
Glenn S. Goord, Commissioner

Office of Public Information
[518] 457-8182

For immediate release:

Monday, August 3, 1998

Oneida Correctional Facility inmate hangs self in cell

An inmate at the Oneida Correctional Facility hung himself in his cell Saturday night using his shoelace.

The inmate, Daniel Loucks, was found hanging in his cell at 10:55 p.m. by a Correction Officer making rounds of the facility's Special Housing Unit, where Loucks was being held because of a disciplinary infraction. The shoelace was attached to the upper hinge of his cell door and around the inmate's neck. The Officer immediately called for assistance and Loucks was cut down. Attempts to revive the unconscious inmate were unsuccessful. Loucks was transported to Rome City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:45 p.m. yesterday.

The cause of death has not been determined, pending the results of an autopsy. Loucks was last seen alive in his cell at 10:40 p.m. Saturday by an Officer who was making rounds of the cellblock.

Loucks, 32, was serving a determinate term of three years for two 1996 convictions out of Oneida County: second-degree assault and driving while intoxicated. He was ordered confined to a Special Housing Unit cell for 105 days on July 27 after being found guilty at a disciplinary hearing of assaulting staff on July 23.

Loucks was received into the state prison system on Dec. 20, 1996, and had been an inmate at Oneida since May 8, 1997. He would have been eligible for conditional release in January and his maximum term would have expired next June.

The hanging is the seventh suicide this year in the state prison system now housing 69,882 inmates. The last suicide, also a hanging, occurred May 16 at Clinton Correctional Facility in Clinton County. Loucks' suicide is the first at Oneida, which opened in 1988.

There were 12 suicides in the state prison system last year.

A medium-security prison in Oneida County, Oneida currently houses 1,194 inmates.