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Suicidal Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of the Literature

What is currently known about suicidal ideation and behavior among youth involved in the juvenile justice system is reported. "Based on findings of this review, between 13,500 and 20,600 detainees may have considered suicide in the past year and 11,000 delinquent youth may have attempted suicide in the past year. With proper screening and intervention, these estimates can be lessened and the risk of suicide among this vulnerable population can be minimized" (p. 10). Sections of this report include: introduction; findings from the first national survey on juvenile suicide in confinement (2009); suicidal ideation and behavior among youth in the juvenile justice system; review methodology; results according to recent, past-year, and lifetime suicidal ideation, suicidal behavior (attempts), or gender and ethnic disparities in suicidal ideation and behavior; variables associated with suicidal ideation and behavior; discussion about prevalence of and associated variables for suicidal ideation and behavior; and six recommendations for future research. An appendix shows "Studies of Prevalence of Suicide Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System" organized according to studies of youth sampled at post-arrest, intake to detention, in detention, post-adjudication, at different points of contact in the juvenile justice system, or undefined.