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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134807 Find in a Library
Title: Capital Crimes: Suicides in Jail
Journal: Death Studies  Volume:15  Dated:(1991)  Pages:417-433
Author(s): J Haycock
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 17
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This review of research on jail populations and inmate suicides concludes that although the risk factors for completed and attempted suicide in the general population are overrepresented among jail populations, some part of the elevated rates of inmate distress may also be attributed to the effects of exposure to jail environments.
Abstract: Although the available data are imperfect, they all confirm early researchers' conclusions that different types of confinement present different risks. The reported incidence rates for completed suicide in jail range even more widely than those for prison suicide, but they are consistently much higher than those for unselected prison populations and the general public. Among risk factors that are overrepresented among jail populations are being male, being unmarried, and having a history of drug abuse. In addition, jails and prisons contain disproportionate numbers of people who experienced childhood physical or sexual abuse; people with chronic organic brain syndromes, particularly epilepsy; and people with impulsive personality styles. Nevertheless, jail conditions must also be considered. Jails are extreme environments, imposing crowding and other severe hardships on the inmates. Future research should use careful methodologies, gather psychological data, and include a large prospective study of suicidal prisoners. 71 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Inmate suicide; Jails
Index Term(s): Corrections research; Facility conditions; Suicide causes; Suicide prevention
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