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Inmate starved to death: Inmate's death leads to prison firings in Kentucky

Prison bars
Prison bars
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An inmate starved to death in a Kentucky prison and firings of personnel at said prison followed. According to ABC 7, James Kenneth Embry, 57, went on a hunger strike and ended up starving himself to death on purpose. The Kentucky State Penitentiary guards were accused of not following protocol and three people subsequently lost their jobs (one has officially been fired and two others are on the verge of dismissal).

"With three years left on a nine-year sentence for drug offenses, [Embry] began to spiral out of control in the spring of 2013 after he stopped taking anti-anxiety medication. Seven months later, in December, after weeks of erratic behavior - from telling prison staff he felt anxious and paranoid to banging his head on his cell door - Embry eventually refused most of his meals," reports ABC 7.

The inmate starved to death ended up weighing 138 pounds at the time of his death earlier this year. He was 6-feet tall. An investigation at the prison showed that Embry wasn't given the proper care and that he wasn't put on medication to curb his suicidal thoughts -- something that is considered protocol at many prisons in the country.

Embry's downward spiral could have been prevented. He got off of his meds in May 2013 and things just progressed for the worse. He would bang his head against his cell door, refuse food, and reportedly talked about wanting to "hurt himself." And yet nothing was done to prevent any of this.

The inmate who starved himself to death was reportedly not checked on routinely. It is unknown if anyone will be held criminally responsible for Embry's death. A criminal investigation is pending.