skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 201904 Find in a Library
Title: Suicide and the Jail Environment: An Evaluation of Three Types of Institutions
Journal: Environment & Behavior  Volume:35  Issue:5  Dated:September 2003  Pages:605-620
Author(s): Christine Tartaro
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study explored whether the type of jail environment affects the incidence of jail suicide.
Abstract: Little is known about the etiology of jail suicides, other than scant data about victim characteristics. What is known is that most jail suicides occur within the first 24 to 48 hours of incarceration. As such, manipulation of the jail environment may be one way to decrease the likelihood of jail suicides. The author engaged in a review of three well-known jail designs (linear intermittent; podular, indirect/remote supervision; and podular, direct supervision) to ascertain if suicides were more likely to occur in certain jail environments. Surveys were completed by 321 jail administrators concerning their jail environments and suicide rates. Other information collected and analyzed included demographic information about inmates, percent of pretrial detainees, officer/inmate ratio, number of bookings, and amount of time officers spend in inmate living areas. Results of logistic regression analysis suggested that jail design and supervision were not related to the likelihood of inmate suicide. The other theoretically relevant variables were also found to not be significant predictors of inmate suicide. The author cautions that these data likely underestimate the problem of jail suicide. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Environmental influences; Inmate suicide
Index Term(s): Suicide causes; Suicide prevention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.