Year: 2020 Source: Aggression and Violent Behavior. (2020). 52, May–June 2020, 101421. SIEC No: 20200857

This study sought to meta-analytically establish whether community offenders, without mental illnesses, were more likely to commit suicide compared with community and general population comparison groups. Fifteen studies met our inclusion criteria (N = 602,347) and highlight that community offenders are significantly more likely to commit suicide compared with non-offenders (OR = 4.54) at any age. Ex-prisoners had a high likelihood of suicide (OR = 4.18), but not as high as offenders who had not been incarcerated (OR = 7.62). Community offenders therefore form a vulnerable group who require targeted intervention to reduce the incidence of suicide across the lifespan. The antisocial lifestyles that offenders lead, when out of secure environments, pose a significant risk to health and should be viewed as a future public health challenge. A shared responsibility lies with the prison, probation, health and social services to develop more collaborative practices in providing services for this high-risk group.