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Inmate who killed herself had suicide risk

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A female inmate convicted in Linn County was found dead of a suicide last week at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, said an Oregon Department of Corrections spokeswoman.

Precious Amor Anderson of Portland was 18.

Court records obtained by the Democrat-Herald show Anderson was viewed as a “clear suicide risk” by a clinical psychologist who interviewed her in 2011. The reports indicated she had mental health problems, partly from physical and sexual abuse she suffered as a foster child.

She had at least six previous suicide attempts, including an incident where she went into a coma after overdosing on prescription pills.

Vicki Reynolds, corrections spokeswoman, said prison employees keep a close eye on inmates for signs they might hurt themselves. She added that as far as she knew, there weren’t indications that Anderson was a suicide risk. Anderson was housed in the general population.

“These aren’t very common. The Department of Corrections does our best to keep inmates safe and secure,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds declined to detail how Anderson killed herself, saying it would have a negative impact on inmates’ emotions.

Anderson was found dead in her cell, where she was the sole occupant, at 12:05 a.m. Wednesday, July 3, according to a news release.

She was in the state prison system for assaulting workers at the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany. One of the assaults occurred when she was 17.

According to court documents, Anderson’s mother was a drug addict and her father a member of the Crips gang.

Anderson entered into foster care for the first time as a toddler. By age 6, she was a permanent ward of the state.

“Suffice to say, her childhood got off to a rough start,” wrote clinical psychologist Orin Bolstad, in a 2011 report.

Anderson had more than 20 different foster placements.

As a child, she was physically abused by two of her caregivers. As a teen, she was sexually abused in a foster home, the report states.

She also became involved in Portland gang life, and as a teen was stabbed in the abdomen near Lloyd Center.

“There were vibrations of depression and anxiety about her life, although she did not look clinically depressed or anxious,” Bolstad wrote.

“Even though Ms. Anderson is not presently suicidal, it would not take much to push her into a serious depression that activates suicidal feelings,” he added.

Anderson’s juvenile record included three adjudications for assault of a public safety officer.

She entered the state prison system on May 9 on a charge of assaulting a public safety officer — a guard at Oak Creek.

That assault occurred in October, and Anderson was initially sentenced to 30 days in jail, then returned to the Oregon Youth Authority. But Anderson violated her probation in April by assaulting another Oak Creek guard.

She was set to be released as early as December 2014.

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility opened in 2001, and is Oregon’s only women’s prison. It holds more than 1,200 inmates. 

Kyle Odegard covers public safety for the D-H. He can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or kyle.odegard@lee.net.

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