Suicide in Corrections Part 1: Overview of the Problem

Suicide in Corrections Part 1: Overview of the Problem 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified individuals in correctional facilities at high-risk for suicide. Risk factors unique to a correctional environment such as shock of incarceration, guilt/shame over incarceration, and existing mental health issues (e.g., alcohol/substance use or mental health disorders) are risk factors for suicide. Isolation from family and friends compounds this risk. This course will provide correctional staff with an overview of suicide in correctional facilities. You will review information related to statistics of suicide in the community and correctional facilities; examine common myths and facts about suicide; review liability issues related to suicide in correctional facilities; and be introduced to the components of what should be included in a facility’s suicide prevention program.


Hours: 1.25


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Jail Association Certification

1.25 HOURS

This activity is approved for 1.25 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections

1.25 HOURS

This activity is approved for 1.25 STC credit hours.

South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy

1.25 HOURS

This course has been approved by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy for 1.25 hours. CJA Lesson Plan #6117

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-SICP1
Hours: 1.25
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 10/31/2023
Learning Objectives:
Recall statistics comparing suicide rates among non-justice involved populations, prisons and jails.
Recognize 5 risk factors that increase the likelihood of suicide related to the jail and prison environment.
Discuss 8 myths and facts related to suicide.
Identify 4 areas that liability cases focus on related to detainee/inmate suicide and define the standard of proof used to determine liability in detainee/inmate suicide civil rights and wrongful death cases.
Describe the purpose and list 12 components of a suicide prevention program.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Overview of the Problem A. Hidden Problem B. Suicide C. Suicidal Ideation D. Suicide in Correctional Facilities E. Increased Risk for Detainees/Inmates F. The Jail Experience G. Review H. Summary Section 3: Myths and Facts About Suicide A. Dispelling Myths B. Review C. Summary Section 4: Why You Should Care A. Your Role is Important B. Liability Issues C. The Focus of Suicide-Related Lawsuits D. 8th Amendment E. The Deliberate Indifference Standard F. Suicide Prevention Programs G. Mitigating Your Liability H. Case In Point: Heflin v. Tennessee (1992) I. Assess Your Knowledge J. Summary Section 5: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributors C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations! F. Exam G. BrainSparks

Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Dee K. Bell, PhD
Dr. Dee Bell is a clinical psychologist and consultant in the areas of Restorative Justice, Juvenile Justice and Correctional Assessments. She retired as the Deputy Commissioner of Juvenile Justice at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Previously, she served for four years as the Administrator of the Community Justice Institute at Florida Atlantic University and the Director of the Balanced and Restorative Justice Project sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Prior to these positions, she has worked 30 + years in Community Corrections for Georgia and Florida State Government. Educated at Clemson University and Emory University, she has provided training in both state and national venues for many years and has authored and co-authored a number of articles on justice system issues and adult and juvenile justice curricula and restorative justice in communities and schools. Disclosure: Dee K. Bell, PhD has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.