The Mortality Rate For Suicide Among Male Inmates

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According to Daniel (2007), “Suicide is the third leading cause of death in U.S. state and federal prisons, exceeded only by natural causes and AIDS” (p. 409). However, in jails this is not the case. Figure 6 looks at mortality rates within the jail population from another report by the BJS. According to Noonan, Rohloff, and Ginder (2015), “Suicide has been the leading cause of death in jails every year since 2000. In 2013, a third (34%) of jail inmate deaths were due to suicide” (p. 1). This is a 9 percent increase just from 2012. 60 percent of these suicides were inmates between the ages of 25 and 44 (Noonan et al., 2015, p. 3). Between 2000 and 2013, the mortality rate for suicide among male inmates was 1.5 times the rate for female inmates (Noonan et al., 2015, p. 3). So even though female inmates are more likely to be mentally ill than male inmates, male inmates are more likely to commit suicide because of mental illness. Mental illness is an obvious risk factor for suicide. Incarceration worsens mental disorders which increases the chance of suicide among inmates. Figure 6 Figure 7 below takes a look at jail suicides between 2005 and 2009 for Texas inmates and breaks it down by race. Whites made up 33 percent of the jail population but 58 percent of suicides. African-Americans made up 31 percent of the jail population and 13 percent of suicides. Hispanics made up 30 percent of the jail population and 27 percent of suicides (Dillon, 2013, p. 54). When filtered by
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