Suicidal ideation among female inmates: A cross-sectional study

Due to their complex mental health needs, female inmates comprise a particularly vulnerable group, at an elevated risk for suicide. Although suicidal ideation—the early stage in the trajectory towards suicidal behavior—represents a valid target for suicide prevention, there has been little research devoted to this outcome among female inmates. In order to address this void […]

Causes of Death in Institutionalized Epileptics

To assess the causes of death in institutionalized epileptics, the patient records, death certificates, & other data from the only hospital for epileptics in Finland (Vaajasalo Hospital) were reexamined. During the years 1900-1976, 179 inpatients in Vaajasalo Hospital died; this was 12.1% of all inpatients. Thirteen deaths were recorded as suicides or suspected suicides (11 […]

Suicide and Epilepsy (IN: Epilepsy and Psychiatry, edited by E Reynolds and M Trimble)

This article explores the association between epilepsy and suicide, through a review of the epilepsy literature produced between 1940 and 1979. A total of 11 papers were found from which it was possible to derive some evidence about the incidence of suicide in epileptics, which dealt specifically with the topics of temporal lobe epilepsy, epileptic […]

At Risk for Suicide

This article records the experience of psychiatric nurses in working with suicidal patients. It includes a suicide assessment tool developed by a committee of psychiatric nurses in order to help them assess the appropriate levels of observation & care required by individual patients. Instructions for using the tool, an example & a case study are […]

Deaths of Offenders: the Hidden Side of Justice. Proceedings of a Conference Held at Brunel University, Uxbridge, England July 1997

This edited book contains a collection of papers from a conference on deaths in custody. The first part presents papers on the political aspects of custodial deaths, theory and coroner’s inquiries. Part Two looks at the special issues associated with the deaths of offenders who are in police custody. Part Three consists of papers from […]

Suicide Prevention & Intervention in State Correctional Facilities: Trainer’s Manual

Prison Suicide: An Overview and Guide to Prevention

Comparative Suicide Rates in Different Types of Involuntary Confinement

This article reports on comparative suicide rates for different confinement institutions in Massachusetts & discusses the significance of findings for debates about ‘importation’ vs ‘deprivation’ explanations of custodial suicide. Study results show few suicides in 3 populations (Addiction Center (1886-1990), Defective Delinquent Department (1922-71) & Treatment Center for Sexually Dangerous Persons) but considerabley higher rates […]

Update: Suicide Prevention in Detention Facilities

This presentation outlines a workshop developed over 5 years at an Atlanta detention center (no suicides in 9 years). It addresses selecting the “right” suicide prevention professional; understanding the needs of the detention system & needs of the professional; suicide prevention training for staff; & special issues particular to suicidal inmates. It emphasizes strategies that […]

Background Risk Factors Associated With Parasuicide Among Male Prison Inmates

This study identified selected factors of inmates’ preincarceration background that were associated with the probability of parasuicide in a stratified random sample of 123 male inmates with & without histories of parasuicide. Problem histories, maladaptive social network members or models, & life events were examined. Following inmates’ own psychiatric history, the parasuicide & arrest record […]

Suicide in Custody: Occurrence in Maori and nonMaori New Zealanders

This article reviewed suicides in New Zealand prisons (1973-88) & police cells (1980-91) to assess whether Maori people were particularly vulnerable. Among prisoners, risk of suicide for Maori men was very similar to nonMaoris (38.7 Maori & 40.4 nonMaori suicides per 100,000 male prisoners per year). Maori men were 6 times more likely to be […]

New Zealand Suicides 1984-8

The aim of this study is to determine regional differences in suicide with special attention to inpatient and prisoners. Of 2019 suicides between 1984 and 1988 the subjects were ususally male and hanging was the commonest method of achieving death. Northland-Auckland had the highest regional suicide rate ant the highest prison siuicide rate; and Wellington-Wairarapa […]

Seclusion in Prison Strip Cells: a Practice to be Ashamed of

The official prison policy is that prisoners at risk of suicide should not be placed in “strip cells” for long. Yet, the evidence is that strip cells may be routinely used to house suicidal prisoners – sometimes for days. The author argues that this practice should be consigned to history – a legacy the future […]

Role of Serotonin in Human Aggressive Behaviour

This study aimed to evaluate a peripheral serotonergic marker, 3H-imipramine binding to platelet membranes, in a group of severly aggressive subjects, institutionalized since childhood for mental retardation, as compared with suicide attempters and healthy controls. The data provide supporting evidence for the hypothesis of an abnormality of the 5HT system in aggressive behaviour and suggest […]

Security and Mental Health Professionals: a (too) Silent Partnership

This article asserts that a cooperative relationship, in real terms not solely in spirit, can be developd and, in fact, must be developed, between both professional detention officers and mental health clinicans working within a jail. The author reviews: literature that currently exists on the issue, the case law, and the struggle between mental health […]

No-Suicide Decisions and Suicide Contracts in Therapy

The effectiveness of suicide contracts are questioned in the general community, where therapists try to apply additional safeguards on their patients. The author’s concern is focused on the one suicidal patient in 20 who develops insistent suicidal impulses. The author concludes that it is unlikely that one can reason reliably with persons in severe suicidal […]

Litigation: Jones v. Thompson and the Issue of Restraints

The extent of liability on corrections facilities when they use restraints on inmates following suicide attempts is discussed. The article provides a case example where a correction facility was found liable in court for this type of action.

Pepper Spray in Suicide Prevention: an Effective Tool?

The issue of using pepper sprays in jails to prevent inmate suicides and to deter suicidal behaviour is discussed. The author presents cautions which came about after an inmate death was attributed to the use of pepper spray. Procedures which may reduce liability are also presented.

Jail Suicide Update

This journal contains articles based on jail suicides and negligence liability. The articles discusses: interactions between mental health professionals and security personnel; effectiveness of suicide contracts; issues of using restraints to control suicidal prisoners; and the effectiveness of using pepper spray to control suicidal prisoners.

Suicide Attempts Among Juvenile Delinquents; the Contribution of Mental Health Factors

This study examined which, if any, of 4 variables (depression, hopelessness, conduct problems, substance abuse) differentiated suicide attempters from nonattempters among incarcerated juvenile delinquents. 51 male youths served as subjects. Results indicated that depression served as a predictor of suicide attempts in white youth only. Suicide attempts were also reported three times more often among […]

Short, Sharp Death

This article discusses suicide in a young offenders institution in Feltham, Middlesex. The prison houses nearly 800 young men from 14 to 21, & are seriously understaffed. This has led to numerous beating of inmates by their peers, & in turn to 4 suicides in 7 months, & 21 attempted suicides in just 1 month. […]

Death and Violence on the Reservation. Homicide, Family Violence, and Suicide in American Indian Populations (E 98 C87 B33 1992)

The purpose of this book is to provide a systematic & detailed examination of homicide, family violence & suicide in contemporary American Indian society. The research presented is sociological in its focus; it examines the social structural factors which relate to the incidence of this violence. After estimating incidence & prevalence rates for each of […]

Inside the ‘House of the Mad’: the Social Context of Mental Illness, Suicide and the Pressures of Rural Life in South West Wales c.1860-1920

Davies discusses asylums to show the dark aspects of life in South West Wales in the 19th and 20th centuries. Asylums during this time had very low recovery rates. Compounded with taxpayer frustration over funding, living conditions became even worse. Asylums were viewed as detention centers. Conditions (including torture) are described. Urbanization was blamed for […]