MONTPELIER (AP) - Vermont Corrections Department officials say there has been an increase in the number of suicide attempts in the state's prisons.

The comment came during a Monday hearing of a legislative oversight committee that is focused on prisoner mental health.

The hearing came after 38-year-old Robert Mossey died after he hanged himself in a mop closet late last month at the Newport prison.

Mossey's step-father, a former corrections officer, says under-staffing at the Newport facility could be part of the problem.

Vermont Public Radio (http://bit.ly/1dEFmLA ) reports Corrections Commissioner Andy Pallito said Mossey's was the first successful suicide within the system in nine years.

But Dr. Delores Burroughs-Biron, the health services director for the Department of Corrections, says the number of attempts has increased.


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