The United States of America has the highest number of incarcerated individuals in the industrialized countries of the world.
It is estimated that about 16% of the 2.2 million people behind bars today have serious mental disorders. Therefore, Suicide is not an uncommon occurrence in jails and prisons, and is of raising concern to correctional and jail administrators, policymakers, health-care providers, correctional officers and of course politicians. More importantly, it is a serious public health problem since it is the 2nd leading cause of death in jails, and the 3rd leading cause in prisons.
Suicide prevention in jails and prisons, a significant challenge for correctional health care providers, administrators, and correctional officers, is not uniformly carried out in jails and prisons. There is wide variation in the implementation of suicide prevention programs from jail to jail, and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Many of the leadership of Jails are satisfied with policies and procedures that exist that place undue emphasis on screening instruments, using “spot checks” of prisoner’s mentality, and adopting an attitude and belief that the reduced rate of the reported national level of suicide statistics is all that can be achieved.