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NCJ Number: 220328 Find in a Library
Title: Risk of Suicide in Juvenile Justice Facilities: The Problem of Rate Calculations in High-Turnover Populations
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:34  Issue:10  Dated:October 2007  Pages:1362-1376
Author(s): Catherine A. Gallagher; Adam Dobrin
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
The Lloyd Society
Kensington, MD 20895
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using data from the Juvenile Residential Facility Census and the Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement, this study shows the underlying differences in the calculations of suicide rates in juvenile facilities.
Abstract: Of the studies examined, some reported a suicide rate in juvenile institutions that was lower or equal to that of the general population (Flaherty, 1980; Snyder, 2005); and others showed an alarmingly high rate for suicides in juvenile facilities (Gallagher and Dobrin, 2006a; and Memory, 1989). The debate on the reliability of these calculations centers on the length of stay in occupied beds and whether to standardize the risk-exposure period so that the numerator and denominator of suicide rates reflect equivalent periods of time and whether comparisons may be made between populations with fewer than 365 days of risk exposure with those having 365 days of risk exposure. Using an occupied-beds rate or the comparable total patient-day rate to provide yearly risks is preferable to an admissions-based rate. It standardizes for length of stay. The most difficult challenge for the beds-based/total patient-day calculations is making clear what units are involved in the rate comparisons. This article presents a fully disclosed prototype for presenting suicide rate calculations. It provides everything necessary for the consumers of such studies to make informed choices about what information is most relevant for their purposes. 7 tables and 36 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile suicide
Index Term(s): Inmate suicide; Juvenile inmates; Research methods
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