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Brown, S., & Day, A. (2008). The Role of Loneliness in Prison Suicide Prevention and Management. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 47, 433-449.
AUTHORS: Maurizio Esposito
ABSTRACT: The article deals with the problem of suicidal risk in Italian prisons. Beginning with a general analysis of the concept and the sociological approaches to suicide, we analyze the main studies on suicide in Italian penal institutions. We present updated Italian prisoners suicide statistics (2002-2015), which we then analyze and discuss both in absolute numbers and in percentage terms. The results indicate that the situation is critical: suicide is the leading cause of death in Italian prisons. The problem mainly affects Italian elder prisoners, the weakest group for mental and physical health. The trend data for female detainees reveal that the ability to adapt to prison life appears more difficult than for male detainees. In addition, suicide among foreign detainees has risen in recent years; a probable contributing factor is the inability to use alternative measures such as house arrest. The conclusion attests a need to provide health policies with treatment options for the cure and care of prisoners in difficulty, with a total approach responding not only to the specific symptoms or to risk behaviors but also to the whole person in a holistic sense.