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To prepare

  • Review the materials from Learning Resources, focusing on SIG-E-CAPS.
  • Review the 2000–2013 statistics on jails and prison suicides.
  • Consider that you have been selected to participate in a task force with the goal of reducing the incidence of suicide in criminal justice institutions.


In a 2- to 3-page paper:

  • Evaluate assessment of suicide in forensic settings and/or criminal justice institutions by addressing the following: 
    • Who would serve on the task force? 
    • Who would be involved in suicide prevention or identification if you were able to intervene at the institution? 
    • What would the interventions look like? What would be some of the policies and procedures that you might implement to ensure that best practices are met? 
    • Provide specific examples based on your current or future forensic role. 
  • Include an analysis of your own prejudices and biases regarding inmate suicides (e.g., consider a child murderer).

Required Readings

Donaghue, E. (2014, May 6). The Cleveland kidnapping case: A timeline of events. CBS News. Retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/timeline-of-events-the-cleveland-kidnapping-case/

Noonan, M., Rohloff, H., & Ginder, S. (2015). Mortality in local jails and state prisons, 2000–2013 – statistical tables. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/mljsp0013st.pdf

Rivlin, A., Ferris, R., Marzano, L., Fazel, S., & Hawton, K. (2013). A typology of male prisoners making near-lethal suicide attempts. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 34(5), 335–347. doi:10.1027/0227-5910/a000205
Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.

Smith, A. (2013, September 4). Suicide kills more inmates than homicides, overdoses, accidents combined. NBC News. Retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/suicides-kill-more-inmates-homicide-overdoses-accidents-combined-f8C11072563

University of Nebraska Medical Center. (n.d.). SIG-E-CAPS. Retrieved September 12, 2016, from http://www.unmc.edu/media/intmed/geriatrics/reynolds/pearlcards/depression/sigecaps.htm

U.S. Department of Justice. (2015). Mortality in jails and state prisons, 2000–2013 -statistical tables. Retrieved from http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5341

Weiner, I. B., & Otto, R. K. (2013). The handbook of forensic psychology (4th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley.
Chapter 23, “Practicing Psychology in Correctional Settings” (pp. 759–794)