Franklin James Cook

Risk Factor Findings for Men in Prison a “Surprise”

In Prevention, Research on November 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm

ORIGINAL REPORT — An Oxford University study suggests that there could be profound effects on suicide risk factors that come into play when a person is imprisoned: “Being white, male, married and in a job makes you more likely to die by suicide on being sent to prison.”

“Prison services should be aware of the risk factors we have found when screening those who come to prison,” says Dr. Seena Fazel of the Department of Psychiatry, who led the work. “It is important to realise that the associations with suicide in prisoners do not appear to be the same as the associations in the general population.”

Being married leads to an increased risk of suicide among prisoners. This is a surprise as marriage is associated with lower suicide risk in the general population … Similarly, being employed shows a trend for increased suicide in prison.

The Oxford team looked at “34 studies including a total of 4,780 suicide cases.” The abstract is available online now, and complete results are in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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