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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77875 Find in a Library
Title: Suicidal Behavior in Jail - A Preventative Approach
Journal: Crisis Intervention  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:(1980)  Pages:19-27
Author(s): E Nielsen
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 9
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Factors contributing to the relatively high suicide rate among jail inmates, suicidal symptoms, and steps to prevent suicide in jails are discussed.
Abstract: The harsh environment of jails as well as the high proportion of disturbed persons residing in jails probably contribute to the high rate of suicide among jail inmates. Various studies of jail suicides reveal the following characteristics and symptoms of inmates who are high risks for suicide attempts: males in their 20's, a previous record and period in jail, previous suicide attempts in or outside jail, divorce or separation, major depressive symptoms, a past history of psychiatric hospitalization, recent incarceration, recent sentencing and reception of divorce notices or 'Dear John' letters. Suicide prevention in jails requires that jail officers be trained to recognize suicidal symptoms in inmates and assess the suicide potential of inmates. The training should include specifics of jail suicidal behavior, including profiles of typical suicidal inmates. Officers should also be schooled in recognizing depressive symptoms. Relevant information should be gathered on each inmate from the inmate himself, cellmates, and family. The officer should then inform the command structure verbally and in writing of the information gathered in the assessment. This allows the jail administration to involve appropriate service personnel. High-risk inmates should be monitored every 15 minutes. If possible, the high-risk inmate should be placed with other inmates; severe suicidal cases, however, should be isolated in order to remove all means of suicide, such as clothing, bedding, and matches. A total of 11 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Corrections management; Inmates; Jails; Suicide
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