MORE suicides were likely to follow from overcrowding and understaffing of the territory's jails, Commissioner for Correctional Services, Raymond Lai Ming-kee, warned yesterday. Warders were not able to keep a close watch on prisoners and attempted suicides were more likely to succeed. 'We have to rely on the staff for early detection. But if the prison is overcrowded, staff have to divert their attention,' Mr Lai said. Last year there were seven suicides in custody and 47 attempted, according to official figures. In 1994, there were 35 attempted cases and eight deaths and in 1993 there were 25 attempts and four deaths. Mr Lai said staff were trained to identify potential suicide cases. New prisoners were screened, exercise drills were held weekly and suspected cases were put on a watch list. He warned there was little staff could do to stop a determined person who no longer wanted to live. A larger prison population meant more visitors required prison escorts and there were more prisoners to monitor.