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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 128405 Find in a Library
Title: Model Suicide Prevention Programs
Journal: Jail Suicide Update  Volume:3  Issue:2  Dated:(Fall 1990)  Pages:1-5
Author(s): Anonymous
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 5
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The model suicide prevention program in Alabama's Mobile County Jail makes the best use of limited resources and incorporates behavioral contracts and the buddy system.
Abstract: Following a jail suicide in 1978, efforts were made to establish a medical division within the jail. A part-time physician and a part-time psychiatrist were hired, and at lease two nurses were assigned to each shift. With the medical division in full operation, suicide prevention begins upon entry to the Mobile County Jail. Booking officers are trained to look for symptoms of suicidal behavior and to administer an intake screening form. If the medical division believes the arrestee is potentially suicidal, the individual is asked to sign a behavioral contract. In this contract, inmates promise not to harm themselves while incarcerated. Most inmates agree to sign the contract, although those who refuse are assigned to the buddy system. This system involves a select group of inmates who are trained as buddies. They are stationed only a few feet away from the suicidal inmate and work 8-hour shifts. The buddy is encouraged to maintain conversation, but never to give advice. Any demonstration of suicidal behavior is immediately reported by the buddy to both correctional and nursing staff. A checklist of symptoms that may indicate emotional disturbances is provided. 1 table
Main Term(s): Inmate suicide; Suicide prevention
Index Term(s): Alabama; Inmate Programs
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