Elevated suicide risk associated with criminal justice system exposure

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According to a Danish study, an examination of 27,000 suicides recorded in the national data registry revealed that contact with the prison system is associated with a greater risk for suicide. The findings, which were reported online in the Archives of General Psychiatry, indicated that the association was also present in noncustodial sentences and in cases where not guilty verdicts were present. Roger Webb, PhD, of the University of Manchester in England, and colleagues, explained that the association was likely a result of direct contact with the prison system or due to a predisposition to other risk factors among those incarcerated. The authors explained, “In practice, the causal mechanisms may combine elements from both of these explanations… Hence, these people may experience an exacerbation in their already elevated suicide risk on coming into contact with the system for the first time.” Click here to read an article from Reuters that discusses this study more.

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