Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday said he has confidence in the state corrections department as it looks to find out what went wrong before the apparent prison suicide of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez.
“Our response is going to be primarily to investigate to make sure that everybody understands exactly what happened and when, and why,” Baker told reporters.
He said he did not believe anybody has been disciplined in the wake of Hernandez’s Wednesday suicide, but the investigation continues.
“Look, any time anybody kills themselves in a prison, something clearly went wrong,” the governor said. He added that he supports the leadership of the state Department of Correction.
Massachusetts has made strides in recent decades to improve mental health care and deter suicides in prison, but the rate of self-inflicted inmate deaths remains among the highest in the country.
“People have made progress on this issue,” Baker said. “But obviously, one is too many and we’ll investigate this thoroughly and make whatever adjustments we need to.”
He said he would not make decisions based on the early details and rumors surrounding the incident.
“I’m not going to draw any conclusions about this until the investigation is finished,” Baker said.
Hernandez, 27, was found hanging from a bedsheet by a corrections officer around 3:05 a.m. Wednesday in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley. Hernandez was serving a life sentence without parole for murder.