Comparing Anti-Suicide Products
Learn How Suicide Prevention Products Work
Research shows that incarceration can take a toll on inmates’ mental health. Experts already believe that we are in the midst of a mental health crisis – and prisons and similar facilities are taking the brunt of the mental health crisis particularly hard.
In fact, the suicide rate for prisoners is higher than the rate for the general population. A 2016 study found that female prisoners are 20 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person, while male prisoners are 5 to 6 times more likely to commit suicide than the average person.
It’s not hard to see why this is the case. Being imprisoned harshly limits the amount of resources at hand that you could use to support your own mental health. This frames the issue of suicide rates among the incarcerated, which many experts are still learning more about.
For that reason, facilities like this should take every step possible to protect the mental health of those in their care. One of the most common ways to do this is to be equipped with suicide prevention equipment.
Suicide prevention equipment has been around for a few decades, and has become popular in prisons – it can be used as part of a larger effort to strive towards protection prisoners’ lives and their well-being. Read below to learn more about these products.
Risk Factors For Prison Suicides
Earlier, we showed you statistics about the relatively high rates of suicide found among prisoners. Why, exactly, are these rates so high?
Each case is different, but the nature of incarceration leaves plenty of room for poor mental health. Some of the most commonly cited risk factors include:
Separation from family or close relationships
Separation from society
Lack of protection or safety
Lack of purposeful daily activity
Suicide prevention products do not target these risk factors specifically – learn how they actually work below.
What are ‘Anti-Suicide Products’?
Inmates have a certain amount of equipment in their cell or on their person – this can include clothing, bedding, and furniture. Since inmates don’t have many resources at hand, if they want to attempt suicide or self-harm, they might try to use the limited equipment they have in creative ways.
Most anti-suicide products are made to address this concern. They are usually designed to be difficult to use in these attempts – this is often reflected in these products’ structural design or base material.
Anti-Suicide Products and How They Compare
Prison and jail cells are equipped with blankets for inmates to use while they rest. However, an inmate may try to incorporate their blanket into a suicide attempt or harmful incident, either by smothering or tearing it into a rope.
Anti-suicide blankets are designed to be particularly difficult to tear. They are usually made from a flat nylon material that cannot be bent or torn.
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Smocks and Tear-Resistant Clothing
Under normal circumstances, a prisoner may wear their regular jumpsuit or uniform. However, a prisoner may try to tear their clothing to be used as part of a self-harm or suicide attempt.
Many facilities have rules stating that these patients must wear tear-resistant clothing until they are deemed no longer a risk to themselves.
Smocks are one of the most popular types of clothing for this purpose. They were invented in 1989 by Lonna Speer, a nurse working in a California jail who wanted to change the fact that suicidal inmates were regularly stripped down and placed in a padded cell with no clothing.
These smocks are hard to fold or bend, and cannot be torn to be used as a rope.
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Some prison or jail cells and similar facilities offer furniture to inmates. These may include desks, chairs or shelves.
There are plenty of ways that these pieces of furniture could be used in a suicide attempt or act of self-harm. For that reason, facilities may choose to fill cells with furniture that negates these problems.
An example of anti-suicide furniture would be a chair that is designed with no spaces to attach wires or cords – this limits the possibilities of hangings or similar suicides.
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Historically, cells have had hooks in them for clothing, towels, and other objects to hang. However, these can be used for hangings, or as a sharp object. The J-Hook solves both of these problems. It has the ideal amount of durability within its design, and is rounded rather than sharp.
Prisons and similar facilities should take every possible step to protect the well-being of inmates. Having gear that is designed to prevent suicides is one step worth taking, among other important efforts.For decades, PSP Corp has been dedicated to providing law professionals with the equipment they need to thrive.