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Type: Journal article
Title: Prison Suicides in South Australia: 1996-2010
Author: Austin, A.
van den Heuvel, C.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2014; 59(5):1260-1262
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0022-1198
Statement of
Amy E. Austin, Corinna van den Heuvel and Roger W. Byard
Abstract: Forty-eight deaths occurring in prisons in South Australia were identified between January 1996 and December 2010, including 25 cases of suicide (mean age = 37 years; median age = 34 years; age range = 24–70 years). Most suicides were due to hanging (23/25; 92.0%) with victims using bedding, belts, or shoelaces attached to cell shelves, air vents, doors, or other accessible projections. There were no suicides attributed to drug overdose or sharp force injury. Over a third of all suicides (39.1%) occurred during the first month of confinement, with 26.1% of cases occurring within the first week. There was one suicide reported after 2 years of imprisonment. Given that suicide in state prisons currently occurs at a rate approximately eight times that of the general South Australian community, it appears that the subset of incarcerated individuals represents a group in need of effective preventive strategies to enable more appropriate provisions of existing prisoner resources.
Keywords: Forensic science, pathology, autopsy, death in custody, prison, inmate, suicide, hanging
Rights: © 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0030010785
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.12454
Appears in Collections:Medical Sciences publications

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