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Suicide Prevention Through Repeated Tragedy: One Jail System and the Lessons That Were Learned

NCJ Number
Jail Suicide/Mental Health Update Volume: 7 Issue: 2 Dated: Fall 1997 Pages: 1-7
Date Published
7 pages
The death of David Cole in March 1993 at the Hunter County Jail in a midwestern State was the most recent of five suicides to occur at the jail during the 24-month period between April 1991 and March 1993 and highlighted the importance of jail suicide prevention efforts.
Experience shows negative attitudes often impede meaningful suicide prevention efforts by jail administrators. These attitudes form obstacles to suicide prevention that can be seen at both local and universal levels. Universal obstacles are far more destructive to suicide prevention efforts than local obstacles because of their far-reaching ability to negatively influence correctional policies on a larger scale. One of the most powerful ways to overcome these obstacles is to demonstrate suicide prevention programs that have effectively reduced the incidence and rate of jail suicides. Findings from a report on suicides in the Hunter County Jail are presented, and specific suicide prevention recommendations are offered. 7 references