Title

Non-fatal self-harm in Western Australian prisons: who, where, when and why

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Sage Publications Ltd.

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

School

Psychology

RAS ID

173

Comments

Originally published as: Dear, G. E., Thomson, D. M., Hall, G. J., & Howells, K. (2001). Non-fatal self-harm in Western Australian prisons: Who, where, when and why. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 34(1), 47-66. Original article available here

Abstract

One hundred and eight non-fatal self-harm incidents that occurred in the Western Australian prison system over a nine-month period were examined. Descriptive data pertaining to these incidents and the 91 prisoners who enacted them are presented. Self-report data pertaining to motives for self-harming, precipitating factors and level of suicidal intent are also presented. The data are consistent with previous international research. Most incidents involved lacerations of low lethality (although 15% were attempted hangings) and occurred in the prisoner's cell when alone and within a secure prison. Self-report data indicated that prison stressors precipitated most incidents with the motive being to obtain relief from psychological distress. A high level of suicidal intent was reported for one in three incidents. Categories of prisoner at greater risk of self-harm included females, remandees, 18 to 25 year olds, those in special placements (disciplinary, medical, protection) and those in custody for less than one month.

DOI

10.1177/000486580103400104

 
COinS
 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.1177/000486580103400104