Year: 2008 Source: The British Journal of Psychiatry, v.192, (2008), p.446-449 SIEC No: 20090213

In 1999 I estimated the expected number of UK prison suicides, taking into account that opioid users’ deaths from suicide were 10 times the number expected for their age and gender. Changes have since taken place in Scottish prisons. In 1994Ð98, there were at least 57 male suicides, significantly exceeding the age- and opioid-adjusted expectation of 41. In 1999Ð2003, the 51 male suicides in prison were consistent with expectation (upper 95% limit: at least 54). During the decade 1994Ð2003, observed and expected suicides were mismatched at both extremes of age: 40 males aged 15Ð24 years died by suicide v. 24 expected, and 13 males aged 45+ v. 2 expected. Against 4.5 prison suicides expected for males aged 15Ð24 years during a 2-year period, actual suicides were 3 in 2002 + 2003 and 4 in 2004 + 2005. Conclusions Scotland has redressed an excess of male suicides, especially by its youngest prisoners.