Strategies for managing suicide & self-harm in prisons


The phenomena of suicide and self-harm have been the subjects of considerable research for more than 100 years. In particular, it is of concern that suicide and deaths in prison have continued to increase over the past decade. These trends have been well documented in various reports emanating from the Australian Institute of Criminology and the latest data covering such trends will be released in a series of reports later this year.

While we probably know more about suicide and self-harm than any other social psychological phenomena, we are still unclear about their causes, or how to accurately predict their likely occurrence or manage and treat those people at risk. In an extensive review of the current Australian and international research, carried out by the authors, important questions remain unanswered. This paper provides a summary of current program initiatives and strategies for minimising self-harm.