Epidemiology of jail and prison suicides in Austria

Frühwald, Stefan; Seyringer, Michaela; Matschnig, Teresa; Frottier, Patrick; König, Franz
January 2007
BMC Psychiatry;2007 Supplement 1, Vol. 7, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Background Few risk factors and indicators of vulnerability for suicide in custody are known so far. Within a large epidemiological investigation, a case-control-study was conducted to investigate the relevance of criminal history, psychiatric morbidity and social integration for suicide in prison. Methods All suicides in all Austrian correctional institutions between January 1st, 1975, and December 31st, 1999 were investigated. Suicide rates were calculated and compared to the rates in the general population. All available personal files of inmates who had committed suicide in any of the 29 Austrian jails and prisons during these 25 years were analyzed. For every suicide, two controls matched for correctional institution, sex, nationality, age, custodial status, and time of admission were selected. Psychiatric characteristics, previous suicidal behavior, criminal history, and indicators of social integration were compared. Results Out of 250 recorded suicides, 220 personal files were available. The suicide rate in custody exceeded the rates in the general population, and significantly increased during the study period. The most important predictors for suicide in custody were a history of suicidality (status post attempted suicide and suicide threat), psychiatric diagnosis, psychotropic medication, a high violent index offense and single-cell accommodation. Conclusion A significant finding is the importance of suicidal behavior for suicides in correctional institutions, which had been contradictorily discussed so far. This CCS demonstrates the necessity for correctional staff to take suicidal behavior as seriously in custodial settings as in any other circumstances. Possible strategies for suicide prevention in this high-risk setting are discussed.


Related Articles

  • Preventing suicide in jails. Kunzman, E. Eugene // Corrections Today;Oct95, Vol. 57 Issue 6, p90 

    Discusses ways for preventing suicide in jails. Identification of potentially suicidal inmate; Risk assessment; Psychiatric history; Mental health referral; Consideration of psychiatric hospitalization. INSET: Details important in suicide prevention planning..

  • Suicide in adult correctional facilities: Key ingredients to prevention and overcoming the obstacles. Hayes, Lindsay M. // Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics;Fall99, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p260 

    Presents components to prevent and overcome challenges concerning suicide in United States prisons. State of suicide prevention standards; Components of a suicide prevention program; Case of George Moffat who committed suicide while in prison.

  • Suicide by prisoners. Shaw, Jenny; Baker, Denise; Hunt, Isabelle M.; Moloney, Anne; Appleby, Louis // British Journal of Psychiatry;Mar2004, Vol. 184, p263 

    Background The number of suicides in prison has increased over recent years. This is the first study to describe the clinical care of a national sample of prison suicides. Aims To describe the clinical and social circumstances of self-inflicted deaths among prisoners. Method A national clinical...

  • Can suicide be prevented? Kamerow, Douglas // BMJ: British Medical Journal;11/17/2012, Vol. 345 Issue 7883, p32 

    The article discusses suicide, the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and whether or not it can actually be prevented or not. The key aspects of a new report from the U.S. surgeon general and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention as an update to the national strategy for suicide...

  • Gatekeeper Training Program.  // Communique (0164775X);Jun2014, Vol. 42 Issue 8, p16 

    The article presents a summary of the study "Does a Brief Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training Program Enhance Observed Skills?," related to risk of suicide and suicide prevention training, that was published in a 2010 issue of "Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention."

  • Approaching Suicide as a Public Health Issue. Knox, Kerry // Annals of Internal Medicine;7/15/2014, Vol. 161 Issue 2, p151 

    An introduction is presented in which the editor discusses various reports within the issue on topics including public health approach to suicide prevention, and identification of factors associated with suicide, and role of social integration in preventing suicide.

  • Suicide has a devastating effect-but can be prevented. Hughes, Rhidian // British Journal of Healthcare Assistants;Oct2012, Vol. 6 Issue 10, p514 

    The article presents information on the prevalence of suicide in Great Britain and discusses the "National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England," which was developed in 2002 by Great Britain's Department of Health. A suicide prevention initiative called "Preventing Suicide In England: A...

  • newsbeat. Suicide Prevention.  // PN;Aug2015, Vol. 69 Issue 8, p25 

    The article discusses a study from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Institute of Mental Health which developed an algorithm that could be used to identify veterans at risk for suicide.

  • The Importance of Adopting Suicide Prevention Measures Based on an Analysis of Suicide Trends among Women in Japan. Inoue, Ken; Fukunaga, Tatsushige; Abe, Shuntaro; Fujita, Yoshitsugu; Ono, Yuichiro // International Medical Journal;Mar2012, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p89 

    Introduction: The number of suicides in Japan sharply increased in 1998, and has continued in recent years. Therefore, suicide is one of the most important social issues in Japan. In this report, we examine the suicide trends and main causative factors of suicide among women in Japan. We also...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics