Five factors that drive inmates to suicide

by Annalisa Lista - 2015.04.22
Five factors that drive inmates to suicide
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In French prisons, 50 percent of all deaths are linked to suicide. Taking one's own life in jail is seven times more common than in the population at large. These are some figures highlighted in the latest report from INED, which investigated the main causes.

1. Isolation. This form of detention greatly increases the risk of suicide, which is 15 times higher than in ordinary detention. It's caused by the strong influence of difficult prison life.

2. Provisional detention. This causes more suicides that incarceration itself, due to the shock to the individual and uncertainty about their fate. In fact, there are about 34 deaths per 10,000 inmates on provisional detention, compared to 13 per 10,000 in those with a definitive sentence.

3. The gravity of the crime. Trying to end one's life is much more common among those who have committed (in order) murder, rape and other forms of sexual harassment. In these cases, it's not so much the length of the sentence to be served that affects the prisoner's state of mind, rather feelings of remorse or the feeling of injustice or ostracism within the prison.

4. The loss of social contact. Those who are abandoned by their loved ones and don't receive visits are 2.5 times as likely to try to commit suicide compared to others.

5. Hospitalisation. Those who have suffered from mental disorders in the past are more likely to want to end their lives.

Published in Prisons.
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