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except for death by natural causes the primary cause of death of offenders in correctional facilities
correctional facilities have a
legal and moral responsibility to do all they can to prevent suicide.
Myth or fact:
People who make suicidal statements or threaten suicide do not commit suicide
myth. most people who commit suicide have made either a direct or indirect statement indicating intentions.
myth or fact:
People who attempt suicide have gotten it out of their system and will not attempt it again
myth. 4 out of 5 people who kill themselves have made at least one attempt prior.
Myth or fact:
Suicidal people are intent on dying
myth. Most suicidal people have mixed emotions about killing themselves. It is a myth that you cannot stop someone from killing themselves. most times they believe they have no other option
asking an probing prisoners about suicidal thoughts or actions will cause them to kill themselves.
myth, you cannot make someone suicidal.
no apparent control over the future
when prisoners experience feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
dehumanizing aspects of incarceration
factors due to lack of privacy, and inability to make personal choices
insensitivity of workers
insensitivity breeds contempt and fear. learn to control insensitive attitudes
high risk periods
initial, criminal, holidays, bad news, during hours of darkness, times of decreased staff supervision, and impending release
following characteristics of average suicide victim
caucasian, hanging is preferred method, committed at midnight and during march, October, and November.
history of mental health problems.
sentence less than 10 years or more than 20 years are more likely to commit suicide.
pretrial prisoners 20-25 years of age
during a period of detox
done when a prisoner has conflict with another prisoner.
alert the control center by body alarm or radio. identify location and request back up support
1. call for assistance
alert other at the control center,
identify the location and the situation,
notify or have others notify your supervisor.
2. contain the situation
remove other prisoners from the area
limit the prisoners movement to a manageable area
control access to the area
remove sources of danger
3. get the prisoner talking
do not lie, use posture and positioning and body language, respect space and stay 2 to 3 feet away,
use interpersonal communication skills
4. transfer control to appropriate personnel
see the problem, identify specific options and resources, clarify expectations, the crisis is temporary, and willing to follow up personally
5. use physical force only as a last resort
try to gain cooperation. used as a last resort, use only the amount of force necessary
6. document the incident
use the 5 W's and H method, report orally and in writing
use concrete language and provide key facts
err on caution, take all threats seriously, determine the intensity of prisoners stress, depression and impulsiveness, investigate potential, means, trust your judgement, abide by mental health staff recommendations.