Year: 2013 Source: Women & Criminal Justice.(2011).21(4):290-307.doi:10.1080/08974454.2011.609400 SIEC No: 20130313

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 examined characteristics of prisons that reported suicides. Findings indicated that rates of suicide in prison were similar for female and male inmates, but rates were higher for female inmates and lower for male inmates compared to the respective rates for female and male U.S. residents. Prisons that reported female suicides evidenced significant differences in prison conditions, including higher assault rates and mental health service utilization, compared to prisons for males and female prisons without suicide. Implications of the findings for understanding the gender paradox and for prison suicide prevention are discussed.