Correlates of suicidal ideation in incarcerated offenders: a pilot study in three Belgian prisons

Correlates of suicidal ideation in incarcerated offenders: a pilot study in three Belgian prisons PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the correlates of suicidal ideation in offenders incarcerated in three Belgian prisons.Design/methodology/approachA cross-sectional questionnaire design was used. In total, 60 participants were recruited from three Belgian prisons. In addition to a questionnaire regarding demographic, social, institutional, and criminological factors, validated self-report instruments of psychological and psychiatric variables (coping, hopelessness, and depressive symptomatology) were administered. Associations with suicidal ideation were tested using regression analysis.FindingsCoping style, life events, and social support were most strongly associated with suicidal ideation in prisoners. In particular, a passive coping style, feelings of loneliness, and the loss of a significant other contributed most to the presence of suicidal ideation, whereas a close partner relationship constituted a protective factor of suicidal thoughts.Research limitations/implicationsThis pilot study used a convenience sampling strategy, prone to sampling bias. Additionally, given the small sample size, results must be interpreted with caution, as they might not be representative of the general population of prisoners in Belgium.Practical implicationsInterventions focussing on improving coping skills and social support and on impeding the availability and accessibility of suicide methods are promising suicide prevention strategies in custodial settings.Originality/valueTo date, no studies have been conducted in Belgium focussing on suicidality in prisoners. Furthermore, the examination of suicidal ideation in prison settings has received relatively scant attention in international research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Criminal Psychology Emerald Publishing

Correlates of suicidal ideation in incarcerated offenders: a pilot study in three Belgian prisons

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2009-3829
DOI
10.1108/JCP-03-2016-0009
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the correlates of suicidal ideation in offenders incarcerated in three Belgian prisons.Design/methodology/approachA cross-sectional questionnaire design was used. In total, 60 participants were recruited from three Belgian prisons. In addition to a questionnaire regarding demographic, social, institutional, and criminological factors, validated self-report instruments of psychological and psychiatric variables (coping, hopelessness, and depressive symptomatology) were administered. Associations with suicidal ideation were tested using regression analysis.FindingsCoping style, life events, and social support were most strongly associated with suicidal ideation in prisoners. In particular, a passive coping style, feelings of loneliness, and the loss of a significant other contributed most to the presence of suicidal ideation, whereas a close partner relationship constituted a protective factor of suicidal thoughts.Research limitations/implicationsThis pilot study used a convenience sampling strategy, prone to sampling bias. Additionally, given the small sample size, results must be interpreted with caution, as they might not be representative of the general population of prisoners in Belgium.Practical implicationsInterventions focussing on improving coping skills and social support and on impeding the availability and accessibility of suicide methods are promising suicide prevention strategies in custodial settings.Originality/valueTo date, no studies have been conducted in Belgium focussing on suicidality in prisoners. Furthermore, the examination of suicidal ideation in prison settings has received relatively scant attention in international research.

Journal

Journal of Criminal PsychologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 7, 2016

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