The Suicidal Inmate: A Comparison of Inmates Who Attempt Versus Complete Suicide

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The aim of this study was to identify risk factors distinguishing inmates who attempt suicide from inmates who complete suicide. Compared with attempters, completers tended to be older, male, more educated, and married or separated/divorced; pretrial, committed for a violent crime, incarcerated in jail, housed in an inpatient mental health unit or protective custody setting, living in a single cell, not on suicide precautions, not previously under close observation; and more likely to act during overnight hours and die by hanging/self-strangulation. Targeted assessment of a broad range of risk factors is necessary to inform suicide prevention efforts in correctional facilities.

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