you have been chosen to participate on a correctional emergency response team, which is developing a task force with a goal of reducing inmate suicides. This goal is the result of a lawsuit involving an inmate who hanged himself after demonstrating behavioral warning signs to the forensic psychology practitioners and other inmates. However, he was ignored because he was also mentally ill and was always seeking attention.
The task force is called to establish best practices when working in an institutional setting to ensure that instances of inmate suicide are greatly reduced. Forensic psychologists are part of the task force, and they provide training on the SIG-E-CAPS. This training provides the correctional staff with tools they can utilize when making decisions that involve the institution.
In this week’s Assignment, you are to assume the lead role in the task force. You will address the following questions: Who from the prison would you select to serve on the task force? What types of interventions would you provide your institution that would be best suited to assist the correctional officers in effectively preventing inmate suicide? Lastly, you will have to address your own potential biases regarding a hypothetical inmate who has committed suicide. His background reports that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl, injuring her to the point that she has lifelong psychological and physical challenges. The issue concerns those in your field not only as professionals but also as individuals who recognize the harm caused to the child. Would you be able to be impartial and effectively facilitate help for the offending inmate who is presenting with suicidal ideation?
- Review the materials from Learning Resources, focusing on SIG-E-CAPS.
- Review the 2000–2013 statistics on jails and prison suicides.
- Consider that you have been selected to participate in a task force with the goal of reducing the incidence of suicide in criminal justice institutions.
In a 3-page paper:
- Evaluate assessment of suicide in forensic settings and/or criminal justice institutions by addressing the following:
- Who would serve on the task force?
- Who would be involved in suicide prevention or identification if you were able to intervene at the institution?
- What would the interventions look like? What would be some of the policies and procedures that you might implement to ensure that best practices are met?
- Provide specific examples based on your current or future forensic role.
- Include an analysis of your own prejudices and biases regarding inmate suicides (e.g., consider a child murderer).