Identifying suicide risk in penal institutions in the Netherlands

E. Blaauw, A.J.F.M. Kerkhof, F.W. Winkel, L. Sheridan

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademic


Suicide is the main cause of death among prison inmates, comprising almost half of all deaths in penal institutions in the Netherlands. Suicides in prisons have major consequences. They are a cause of distress to prison staff, other inmates, relatives and partners. They may cause unrest among other inmates.Detecting suicide is difficult and requires the collection of information that may not be generally available on the ‘normal’ prison inmate.This paper describes research undertaken to identify factors that might indicate high suicide risk in a prison inmate. These factors were then weighted to provide a suicide screening tool that was able to identify 95% of inmates at risk of suicide.However identification of risk is only the first step; steps must be taken thereafter to ensure suicide does not occur. The effectiveness of preventive measures is an important area for future research. © 2001, MCB UP Limited
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Forensic Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2001


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