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Toward Understanding State-Level Jail Mortality: Correlates of Death by Suicide and by Natural Causes, 1977 and 1982

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: (March 1987) Pages: 51-71
Date Published
21 pages
This paper examines the correlates of State level inmate deaths by suicide and natural causes reported in 1978 and 1983 census data for more than 3,000 jails in 45 States.
Intra-institutional variables examined included average jail stay, person-years at risk, arraigned versus convicted status of inmates, overcrowding, and staffing patterns. Extra-institutional variables included corrections expenditures, region, and court orders for inmate grievances. In 1977, the three extra-institutional variables were related to both suicides and natural deaths, but only person-years at risk contributed significantly. Variance in natural deaths also was affected by staffing level and statewide average jail stay. By 1983, the person-years at risk variable accounted for virtually all the variance in natural deaths and suicides, with marginal contributions from region and court intervention (for suicides only). 6 cases and 57 references.

Date Published: January 1, 1987