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Juvenile deaths in custody

  1. Hayes, L. M. 1994, 'Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: An Overview and Summary of One System's Approach', Juvenile and Family Court Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, pp. 65-75.

    An unknown number of suicides occur each year in juvenile institutions throughout the country. While it is generally not known exactly how many juveniles commit suicide in confinement each year, most researchers agree that youth have a higher rate of suicide than adults and become particularly vulnerable to suicidal behaviour during incarceration. This article looks at the District of Columbia and its struggle to provide comprehensive suicide prevention services in its training schools and at its final implementation of a fully comprehensive suicide prevention plan.

  2. Howlett, C. 1993, Deaths in Juvenile Detention, 1980-1992, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 3 (May), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This report presents detailed information on the circumstances surrounding the deaths of nine young people in juvenile detention during the period 1980 to end 1992. In so doing, it continues the Australian Institute of Criminology's national monitoring of deaths in custody program by providing valuable information on deaths in an often neglected custodial population. It is intended that this paper will raise public interest in the issue of care for juveniles in detention. Further, the information presented here should prompt government action on the recommendations of international organisations and the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in terms of preventing deaths in custody and promoting juvenile justice reform.

  3. Howlett, C. 1993, Deaths of Young People in Police and Prison Custody and Juvenile Detention, 1980-1992, Deaths in Custody Australia, No. 5 (August), Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra.

    This is the fifth report in the Deaths in Custody Australia series produced the National Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit of the Australian Institute of Criminology. This paper presents statistical information on the deaths of young people in police and prison custody and juvenile detention in Australia between 1980 and 1992. This paper plays an important role in drawing together information on deaths of young people in the three major custodial environments, not just on young people who have died whilst detained as juveniles. Data collected on custodial death by researchers for the RCIADIC and by the Australian Institute of Criminology's Deaths in Custody Monitoring and Research Unit have been utilised. The fact that 74 per cent of the deaths of young people analysed in this report were self-inflicted highlights the need for the expanded use of alternatives to custody, wherever possible, and of programs within custodial settings to reduce the stress and feelings of helplessness that must underlie many of these premature deaths.

  4. Liebling, Alison. 1992, 'Suicides in Prison: Young Offenders', Prison Service Journal, no. 85, pp. 10-19.

    A group of young prisoners who show a marked vulnerability to suicide can be differentiated from the general young prisoner population by the extent of the background deprivation they report, and by their inability to cope with or make any constructive use of their sentence. It is shown that the most vulnerable inmates can often be found in the worst situations, many having no job or activity in prison, and receiving very little contact from their families. It is the combined effects of hopelessness, their histories, their current situation, and the fact that they cannot generate any solution to their problems that propel the young prisoner towards suicide. The aim of the research was twofold: (i) To explore the nature and incidence of suicide, suicide attempts and self-injury amongst young offenders in custody, and to seek an interpretative understanding of them; (ii) To understand the problems faced by staff in the management and prevention of suicides in custody.

  5. Sowa, Theo. 1993, 'A Terrible Cost: Some Thoughts on Youth Suicides in Prison', Criminal Justice Matters, vol. 10, Winter, pp. 9-10.

    During 1992, the media focused the public and government officials' attention on suicide, and particularly youth suicide, in prison. At one institution, four young people died within nine months. Figures issued by both the Home Office and the Samaritans indicate that young men in prison are more than six times more likely to commit suicide than young men in the community. Over the 11 years to the time of the article being written, 69 young men and women aged 20 and under had killed themselves in prison. The article discusses the frequency of suicides, local variations, Young Offender Institution regimes, relationships between prison officers and young offenders and guidelines for suicide prevention within prisons.

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