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Title Individualized Suicide Risk Assessment and Intervention in Corrections
Summary The rate of suicide in correctional settings has increased over recent years requiring that suicide prevention strategies be revisited. This presentation will review the research literature on suicide in corrections including risk, protective and environmental factors. New methods that promote safety while engaging the individual in treatment will be presented. Facilitators will use case examples to expound upon the research.
Abstract Based on the most recent Department of Justice statistics from 2019, the rate of suicide in correctional settings has increased significantly over recent years. Suicide is now the leading cause of death in jails and the third leading cause of death in prisons in the United States. As such, correctional departments must revisit suicide prevention and risk management strategies. This presentation will review the research literature on suicide in corrections including the rate of suicide over the past 30 years. Factors related to suicide in corrections will be reviewed including: (1) Risk factors, which increase an individual’s likelihood of self-directed violence or suicide; (2) Protective factors, which decrease or buffer against an individual’s risk; and (3) Environmental factors that may increase an individual’s risk, but if altered, may mitigate or decrease an individual’s risk for suicide.
Traditionally correctional systems have responded to individuals at risk for suicide by placing the individual in the most restrictive setting possible, typically without access to clothing, reading material, visits, treatment groups, recreation or other meaningful items and activities. Such a response by correctional departments likely results in underreporting of suicidal ideation by inmates to avoid placement in such restrictive conditions. New, more humane methods that promote safety while engaging the individual in treatment will be presented. Evidence-based behavioral health interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing will also be reviewed. Finally, components of a comprehensive suicide prevention program to include staff training, screening and evaluation, crisis response, treatment and intervention, documentation and debriefing will be reviewed, and presented through the lens of case examples from jails and prisons.
Primary Topic Suicide
Secondary Topic Special Populations
How long is the presentation? 60 minutes
Skill Level Intermediate
- Describe risk, protective and environmental factors for suicide in correctional settings
- Identify new methods of intervention that will promote treatment while mitigating risk for suicide
- Discuss how to improve the participants’ suicide prevention programs
- Present the risk, protective and environmental factors found to increase and decrease the risk for suicide among correctional samples in the research literature.
- Review and discuss new methods of intervention, such as levels of suicide precautions that allow for the individual to access therapeutic interventions and other activities without being confined to a cell.
- Discuss methods to incorporate the information learned from this presentation into the participant’s suicide prevention program in their facility or department. This will include a section for questions and answers so participants can learn from each other.