National Center on Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA) (Mansfield MA)
This report “does more than simply present a calculation of suicide rates. It presents the most comprehensive updated information on the extent and distribution of inmate suicides throughout the country, including data on the changing face of suicide victims. Most important, the study challenges both jail and health-care officials and their respective staffs to remain diligent in identifying and managing suicidal inmates” (p.vii). Five chapters follow an executive summary: introduction; national study of jail suicides—20 years later; demographic findings of suicide data; special considerations; and conclusion. The majority of victims (98%) used hanging as their method of suicide, with 32% of all suicides occurring between 3:01 P.M. and 9 P.M., 2 to 14 days following arrest (27%).
This monograph presents a review of the literature and of national and state standards for prison suicide prevention, as well as national data on the incidence and rate of prison suicide, effective prevention programs, and discussion of liability issues. Topics also discussed include staff training, intake screening/assessment, housing, levels of supervision, intervention and administrative review. The document also examines the role of the courts in shaping prison suicide policy.