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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 97571 Find in a Library
Title: Jail Suicide - Assessment and Prevention
Journal: National Sheriff  Volume:35  Issue:6  Dated:(December 1983-January 1984)  Pages:12-16
Author(s): W R Hill; R L Sanok
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports on possible motives for suicidal behavior in jails, characterizes successful suicides, and discusses the impact of jail suicides on supervisors and staff.
Abstract: Two examples of controversial suicide incidents are provided, and the need for those who run jails and lockups to be able to identify signs of suicidal behavior is emphasized. Suicide is shown to be the leading cause of death in most penal settings; additionally, the rate of suicide in United States prisons and jails is more than 3 times greater than the national average. Suicides have an adverse affect on jail staff; emotional shock, intense fear, and self-blame are common reactions. A suicide presents< questions about the supervisor's liability and to affect community perceptions of the facility and its staff. Evidence indicate that the vast majority of those contemplating suicide do not want to die. The article emphasizes the obligation of authority figures to act to prevent suicides. Michigan suicide data for jails and lockups in 1982 are provided; guidelines for suicide precautions are included; and the concentration of individuals who have grave suicidal risks in jails, prisons, and psychiatric facilities is cited. One illustration is included.
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Inmate suicide; Jails
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