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date: 24 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This essay describes and critiques suicide-prevention strategies in prison, including the extent to which screening and prevention programs are used in the United States. The epidemiology of suicide and suicide attempts in both jails and prisons is reviewed, with discussions of differences in suicide risk by demographic factors, individual risk and suicide protective factors, and contextual factors. A cross-section of legal cases leading to the establishment of a legal basis for suicide prevention in US correctional facilities is provided, followed by an overview of current national standards and best practice guidelines for preventing inmate suicides. The essential components of correctional suicide-prevention strategies are described and critiqued, including core values at the center of these strategies, aspects of most effective systems management, and evidenced-based clinical care. Finally, special considerations for different types of confinement settings are described.

Keywords: inmate suicide, suicide protective factors, correctional suicide prevention strategies, preventing inmate suicides, suicide risk

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