For some time now, the news media has inundated the public with stories of prison underfunding, poor prison health care, and the possibility of California releasing thousands of prison inmates to ease overcrowding. Additionally, two major prison riots were reported. One riot was in California and one in Kentucky. Numerous prisoners were injured and millions of dollars in damage was done during both riots. The news reported that prison overcrowding was to blame in each case.
The authors reviewed all suicides between 1992 and 2002 in a statewide correctional system. Thirty-seven inmates committed suicide in various prisons during this period.
Suicides among youths in the United States is a national tragedy. A successful suicide by an adolescent within the juvenile justice system is both preventable and unconscionable and tends to occur as a consequence of poor or inappropriate staffing, inadequate training, and/or the lack of policy and procedure enforcement