Year: 2022 Source: Law and Human Behavior. (2022). Published online 3 February 2022. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000480. SIEC No: 20220226

Objective: We developed the Self-Injury Risk Assessment Protocol for Corrections (SIRAP-C) to meet legal mandates for self-directed violence (SDV) risk assessment standards in correctional settings. We focused on two empirical aims: (1) factor structure and internal consistency and (2) subscale associations with SDV and intervention recommendation outcomes.

Hypotheses: We expected a multifactorial SIRAP-C structure with acceptable internal consistency. We further expected SIRAP-C subscales would distinguish history of SDV events while incarcerated, current SDV event category, and treatment recommendation.

Method: We drew electronic health record data for adult incarcerated persons (N = 3,929) from state Division of Prisons records from 2016 to 2020. Clinical records included demographic and correctional institutional information, as well as SIRAP-C records. Factor analyses assessed Aim 1. Regression models tested Aim 2.

Results: Factor analyses supported a seven-factor SIRAP-C structure (27 items) comprising Depressive Symptoms, Reasons for Living, History of Self-Directed Violence, Current Suicidal Thinking, Family History of Self-Directed Violence, Coping Skills, and Social Connectedness. Subscales displayed acceptable internal consistency, with the exception of social connectedness in the confirmatory factor analysis subsample. Lower depressive symptoms and coping skills, as well as higher history of SDV, were associated with increased risk for a prior SDV assessment event while incarcerated. Lower depressive symptoms, current suicidal thinking, and coping skills and higher history of SDV marked worse risk for self-injurious behavior. Higher depressive symptoms and current suicidal thinking, as well as lower reasons for living, demarcated suicidal acts from self-injury. Higher history of SDV and lower coping skills indicated outpatient/residential treatment. Elevated depressive symptoms and history of SDV, as well as lower reasons for living and coping skills, were associated with inpatient hospitalization.

Conclusions: The SIRAP-C represents a promising clinical approach advancing correctional SDV risk assessment. We offer future research, policy, and implementation recommendations.