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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.

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

If you work with justice-involved juvenile, you need to read this bulletin. "Incarcerated youth die by suicide at a rate two to three times higher than that of youth in the general population. In this bulletin, the authors examine suicidal thoughts and behaviors among 1,829 youth ages 10 to 18 in the Northwestern Juvenile Project—a longitudinal study of youth detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago, IL (p. 1). Findings are presented for: hopelessness; thoughts about death and dying; thoughts about suicide; suicide plan; telling someone about suicidal thoughts; suicide attempts; and psychiatric disorders that may increase the odds of suicide attempts. Additional discussion concerns demographic characteristics and suicide risk, and psychiatric disorders and suicide risk. Based on the results, detention facilities need to systematically screen juveniles for suicide risk within 24 hours of arrival if not sooner, and increase the availability of psychiatric services.

Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth Cover

Suicide is a threat to all persons involved in corrections. The rates of inmate suicide are far higher than the national averages, and even higher still for special populations (including juvenile and LGBTI inmates), even corrections officers have a much greater occupational suicide rate. 

The resources provided will help give an overview of the problems surrounding correctional suicides and the ways one can implement strategies to turn around the alarming upward trajectory of suicide rates. 

This report discusses the role correctional officers must play in dealing with inmate suicides. Especially, those officers in jails. The suicide rate for local jails is about four times that of the U.S. as a whole with the rate for jails of 100 beds or less being nearly 10 times greater. Sections of this publication cover: inmates and suicide risk; recognizing the warning signs; responding to the warning signs; and procedures addressing suicide prevention in correctional facilities.

The Role of Corrections Professionals in Preventing Suicide Cover

This report explains in detail how this research group “developed a prototype demonstration system that can measure an inmate’s heart rate, breathing rate and general body motion without being attached to the inmate (i.e. from a non-contact distance). The system is based upon measuring a ballistogram which is comprised of subtle motions appearing on the surface of the body due to the motion of internal components such as the heart and lungs. The system is based on a modifying version of a commercialized Range Controlled Radar (RCR) that was originally designed as a motion detector for home security systems” (p. 2). All that is needed for this system to be available to correctional agencies is a long-term test in a real-world environment.

Unobtrusive Suicide Warning System: Final Technical Report: Phase III Cover

“This task force was established in June 2011 to focus attention on the needs of youth in the juvenile justice system, particularly in the areas of suicide-related awareness and education, suicide research, suicide prevention programming and training, and collaboration between the juvenile justice and mental health systems. Below, organized by workgroup, are the resources developed to provide findings, recommendations, and practical tools for juvenile justice and mental health administrators and staff.” These workgroups and related publications are: 1: Public Awareness and Education—“Need to Know: A Fact Sheet Series on Juvenile Suicide” (one each for court judges and staff, juvenile detention and secure care staff, and juvenile probation staff); 2: Suicide Research—“ Suicidal Ideation and Behavior among Youth in the Juvenile Justice System: A Review of the Literature”, and “Screening and Assessment for Suicide Prevention: Tools and Procedures for Risk Identification and Risk Reduction among Juvenile Justice Youth”; 3: Suicide Prevention Programming and Training—“ Guide to Developing and Revising Suicide Prevention Protocols for Youth in Contact with the Juvenile Justice System”; and 4: Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Systems Collaboration—“ Preventing Juvenile Suicide through Improved Collaboration: Strategies for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice Agencies (Summary). The “Executive Summary: Preventing Suicide Working With Youth Who Are Justice Involved” is also provided.

Youth in Contact Cover


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