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Jail Suicide Litigation Redux

NCJ Number
Jail Suicide/Mental Health Update Volume: 6 Issue: 3 Dated: Spring 1996 Pages: -
Date Published
20 pages
These five articles examine legal issues related to suicides in jails, including the Federal courts' current interpretation of deliberate indifference, the legal standard used to measure most liability for jail suicide, and how recently passed Federal legislation might change suicide prevention programming and inmate mental health services.
The analysis of the United States Supreme Court's 1994 decision in Farmer v. Brennan concludes that knowledge of a high risk of suicide no longer must be individual-specific before deliberate indifference can be found. The discussion of the Prison Litigation Reform Act that took effect in April 1996 concludes that the courts' interventionist role in cases involving conditions of confinement will change and that parties interested in seeking court intervention regarding various conditions of confinement issues may not be able to receive such intervention. A further article reports findings of a survey, interviews, and site visits designed to determine the characteristics of effective programs for diverting mentally ill persons from jails to community-based services. Further articles describe mental health case management services in a correctional setting and an unusual case of government-assisted prison suicide. Table, descriptions of training materials, and reference notes