343521 - Lifting The Silence On Suicide Within The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Introduction: Suicide, the act of taking one’s own life, results from complex interactions between biological, sociological, psychological and environmental factors. (Source National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, http: //www. cdc. gov/ncipc/factsheets/suicide-overview. htm). According to NCIPC, suicide is the 11th leading cause for deaths in the US. It is also stated by the same source that more people are treated and discharged from hospitals for attempted suicide than admissions of the fatally injured. We have always seen that suicide is a serious, tragic event that devastates individuals, their families and the communities in which they live.
It is generally observed that families of victims of suicides are overwhelmed by the event. They are usually held responsible for the same and hence do not volunteer information regarding the same. This project attempts to present a picture of the suicides within the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, especially among the Correctional Officers. It also identifies the risk factors and suggests prevention and intervention strategies. The paper attempts to get everyone involved to address the problem exclusively.
OhioThis state derives its name from a Indian word that means “large river”. Ohio became the 17th state of the USA on March 1, 1803. It has an area of 44,828 square miles, with Columbus as the capital city, and a population of more than 11 million. (Source: http: //www. enchantedlearning. com/usa/states/ohio/) In this seventh populous state of the country, more than 1200 people commit suicide every year. Suicide is the 9th largest cause for deaths in the state. (Source: Ohio’s Suicide Prevention Plan, http: //www. ac. wwu. edu/~hayden/spsp/states/Ohio%20Suicide%20Prevention%20Plan%20PDF. pdf)The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for the State of Ohio (ODRC) has more than 30 prisons under its jurisdiction and supervises more than 45000 inmates living in the correctional facilities of the Department.
Besides this, over 30,000 people on parole are also supervised by the ODRC. (As told by Dr. Reginald A Wilkinson, Director ODRC at http: //www. cdc. gov/ncipc/factsheets/suicide-overview. htm)Suicides in the Correctional facilities (Adapted from Oral Testimony of Dr. Reginald A Wilkinson, Director CDRC presented to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, July 30, 2003 at http: //www. cdc. gov/ncipc/factsheets/suicide-overview. htm and http: //www. drc. state. oh. us/WEB/Articles/article77.htm)The 10 million odd people who are booked into prisons annually, include more people with mental illness, than the mental institutions in the country The correctional administrators, according to Dr.
Wilkinson, thus don the role of mental health administrators. This in itself presents an “enormously frustrating” scenario. The principal job of the correctional centers is to incapacitate the prisoners and not hospitalise them as sick people. However, untreated mental illness in the inmates exposes them to the risk of suicide. The suicides in the county jails in the State of Ohio, is approximately 77 per million. This is seven times greater than that the rate in the general population of the state.
The rates are not exclusive in Ohio as in most states the trend is rather similar.