Using life trajectories analysis to characterize suicide attempts in prison

Background: Suicide in prison is a major problem and several risk factors have been identified in the literature (e.g., period of incarceration, depressive disorders). Aims: The study examined the impact of several risk factors for suicide attempts before and during incarceration using life trajectory analysis of inmates by interviews with informants. Method: The lifetime of inmates with a history of […]

Lessons learnt from the narratives of women who self-harm in prison

Background: In England and Wales, women in prison make up a minority (<5%) of the total custodial population, yet acts of self-harm are around five times more common among incarcerated women. While there has been a multiagency effort to improve how acts of self-harm are documented across prisons, the patterns and functions of self-harm for women […]

The European Human Rights system and the right to life seen through suicide prevention in places of detention: Between risk management and punishment

This paper analyses the shortcomings of European suicide prevention policy in places of detention, a topic that has been neglected in the European legal literature. Four interrelated characteristics of the suicide prevention policies developed by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) are responsible for the failures of these policies. First, the risk-based approach relies […]

Multidimensional approach to suicide prevention in jails and prisons: The best defense against liability lawsuits

Inmates in jails and prisons are a high-risk group for suicide. Often, legal claims of medical negligence and §1983 based on deliberate indifference by the correctional officials follow. Unique stable and dynamic factors and circumstances and their interaction explain most suicides. A systematic suicide screening using a well-designed suicide screening questionnaire that captures known risk […]

Mental health, substance abuse, prison victimization and suicide attempts amongst incarcerated women

Worldwide, incarcerated women are known to suffer adverse experiences that might increase the risk of suicide attempts during incarceration. The present investigation examines the prevalence of suicide attempts amongst incarcerated women in Spain and the factors associated with this. Between January and March of 2017 a total of 174 women, enrolled from two prisons in […]

Risk factors for suicide in prisons: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Background Rates of suicide among people in prison are elevated compared with people of similar age and sex who are living in the community. Improving assessments and interventions to reduce suicide risk requires updated evidence on risk factors. We aimed to examine risk factors associated with suicide in prisoners. Methods We did an updated systematic […]

Suicide in prisons: Active deviation profile

The interpretative path of suicide finds its maximum expression in the theorizations of Èmile Durkheim who classifies suicide as a social pathology and as a result of a general social fragility. The more generic theme of “deaths” in prison began to arouse the interest of scholars around the mid-19th century, a period in which “suicide […]

Prison staff’s views and understanding of the role of emotions in prisoner suicide and violence

Suicide and violence are a major concern in prisons, and it has been suggested that alexithymia may be associated with these behaviours. Alexithymia can be defined as the inability to identify and describe emotions. This study aimed to explore staff’s understanding and attitudes about identifying and discussing emotions in prisoner suicide and violence. Twenty prison […]

Prevalence and risk factors for mental health problems and suicidal expressions among young male prisoners in Cambodia: A cross-sectional study

Background: incarceration and mental health problems are empirically known to have a strong association. Many studies have confirmed the high prevalence of mental health problems among young prisoners in particular, yet none have been conducted in Cambodia. Objectives: this study aimed first to assess the prevalence of mental health problems and suicidal expressions among young […]

Preventing suicide in jails and prisons

Suicide is often the single most common cause of death in correctional settings. Jails, prisons and penitentiaries are responsible for protecting the health and safety of their inmate populations, and the failure to do so, can be open to legal challenge. Further fuelled by media interest, a suicide in correctional facility can easily escalate into […]

Non-suicidal self-injury and co-occurring suicide attempt in male prisoners

High rates of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) and suicide attempts (SA) are well documented in prisoners, however, few studies examined their co-occurrence in this high-risk population. Study participants were 1203 adult men randomly selected from 15 Belgian prisons, representing 12% of the national male prison population. Lifetime prevalence rates for NSSI and SA are 17% and […]

Prevention of suicidal behavior in prisons.

Worldwide, prisoners are at high risk of suicide. Research on near-lethal suicide attempts can provide important insights into risk and protective factors, and inform suicide prevention initiatives in prison. Aims: To synthesize findings of research on near-lethal attempts in prisons, and consider their implications for suicide prevention policies and practice, in the context of other […]

Single cells, segregated housing, and suicide in the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Single-cell and segregated housing are established risk factors for suicide in prison. The importance of these factors together may represent a disproportionate risk and are both modifiable. All single-cell housing in the New Jersey Department of Correcitons (whether segregated or general population) represented a higher risk of suicide than double-cell housing in the general population. […]

Need to know: A fact sheet series on juvenile suicide. Juvenile detention and secure care staff.

Need to Know: A Fact Sheet Series on Juvenile Suicide was developed by the Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System Task Force of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. The task forceÕs Public Awareness and Education Workgroup developed this series to raise awareness among individuals who work with youth involved with the […]

Self-harm in prisons in England and Wales: An epidemiological study of prevalence, risk factors, clustering, and subsequent suicide.

Self-harm and suicide are common in prisoners, yet robust information on the full extent and characteristics of people at risk of self-harm is scant. Furthermore, understanding how frequently self-harm is followed by suicide, and in which prisoners this progression is most likely to happen, is important. We did a case-control study of all prisoners in […]

Management of suicidal and self-harming behaviors in prisons: Systematic literature review of evidence-based activities.

The purpose of this study was to systematically analyze existing literature testing the effectiveness of programs involving the management of suicidal and self-harming behaviors in prisons. Multi-factored suicide prevention programs appear most effective in the prison environment. Using trained inmates to provide social support to suicidal inmates is promising. Staff attitudes toward training programs were […]

Self-injurious behavior in prison: A case study.

The practice of self-injurious behaviors (SIBs) within corrections disproportionately consumes resources and negatively impacts staff. This manuscript features a case study of an offender currently housed in a maximum security prison who routinely engages in self-injury. Findings are presented along the tripartite themes of family background, suicidality, and SIB. Policy implications include supporting a systematic […]

The gender paradox in prison suicide rates.

Few studies of prison suicide have focused on suicide among female inmates, and even fewer studies have provided comparisons of rates by gender. Using national data on U.S. prisons and suicide, this study examined the Ògender paradoxÓ in prison suicide rates by comparing suicide rates of female and male inmates and U.S. residents and then […]

Systems training for emotional predictability and problem solving (STEPPS) group treatment for offenders with borderline personality disorder.

Systems Training for Emotional Predictability and Problem Solving (STEPPS) is a manual-based group treatment of persons with borderline personality disorder (BPD). We report results from a study of offenders supervised by the Iowa Department of Corrections. Seventy-seven offenders participated in STEPPS groups. The offenders experienced clinically significant improvement in BPD-related symptoms (d = 1.30), mood, […]

The suicidal process in male prisoners making near-lethal suicide attempts.


Perceptions of a peer suicide prevention program by inmates and professionals working in prisons. Underestimation of risk, the modification of the field, and the role of self-consciousness.

Background: Suicide prevention is a major challenge for penal institutions in many countries. The traditional approach relies on the expertise of health professionals and is supplemented by the intervention of other professionals and the inmates themselves. New methods of suicide prevention based on peer support have been developed in recent years. Peer prevention programs rely […]

Psychiatric problems and suicidal behaviour in incarcerated adolescents in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Data are lacking about the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and suicidal behaviour in incarcerated adolescents in Asia. This cross-sectional study evaluated the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and the prediction of suicidal attempts in 100 incarcerated males aged 12Ð19 years in Shiraz. Data were collected in face-to-face interview using the Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and […]

Risk of dying by suicide inside or outside prison: The shortened lives of male offenders.

Purpose: To determine the death rate among offenders, especially by suicide, inside and outside prison. Methods: A follow-up of 1,025 inmates over the period from 1995 to 2006 was conducted by searching the computerized records of correctional services and coroner files for data on suicidal behaviour and death. Results: There were 47 deaths (4.59%) from […]