Suicidal behavior occurs at much higher rates in correctional facilities than in the community, yet little is known about factors that distinguish inmates at risk for attempting versus dying by suicide. Individuals in the current study included 925 inmates housed in 2 large U.S. jails and 8 state correctional systems who attempted (79.5%) or died by (20.5%) suicide for whom archival data were available. Mental health professionals completed a tracking sheet after suicide-related incidents, documenting inmate psychological, diagnostic, and treatment related risk factors. Differences between inmates who attempt versus those who die by suicide indicate that when mental health staff are aware of inmates’ current and historical risk factors, deaths by suicide are less likely to occur.

Folk, Johanna B. Loya, Jennifer M. Alexoudis, Emily A. Tangney, June P. Wilson, John S. Barboza, Sharen E.

Psychological Services, 15(3), 2018

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