Criminal Justice Suicides

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Suicides and the Criminal Justice System The reason why there is an elevated rate of suicides in the criminal justice system, particularly in jails and prisons is probably because the incarcerated population is dealing with some major stressors. Among the stressors documented or recognized, it has been observed that these people usually deal with: a “loss of liberty”, a high degree of “enforced structure and discipline”, “overcrowding” and a “dirty, depressed and aggressive environment”; in addition to “poor diet”, “feeling of guilt and shame”. What make the situation worse, are a power differential between incarcerated individuals and institutional staffs, and an uncertain future. Coping with the impact of incarceration on important others (children,…show more content…
The worse they could ever have to deal with is at their release from custody, they have to confront some difficulties with placement, when they are being rejected by some facilities for their history of violence, which could be a major blow for them. Another scenario is when some family members may be resistant or unable to provide care for them or may be worse, are no longer living. This is not the end of their nightmares since they are often facing difficulties with employability, personal adjustment and following up care. We then can understand why as a rule, incarceration increases the risks for suicide, suicidal and Para suicidal behavior. Suicides are responsible for 6% of deaths in prisons and 30% of death in jail. County Jails reportedly have a suicide rate at 4 folds above the rate for the general population. This suicide rate is most prevalent in younger 18 years of age, older above 35 year and white males above 55 years of

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