Suicide Attempts By Texas State Prisoners Up Sharply This Year


The average monthly number of suicide attempts among prisoners under Texas state custody has increased 28 percent so far in 2015, from an average of 81.7 attempts per month in 2014, to an average of 104.5 attempts per month, reports the Grits for Breakfast blog. The number of successful suicides stayed the same, at an average of 2.6 per month both years. Thirty-one people successfully committed suicide last year; 21 had done so as of August this year.

The rate of suicide attempts per inmate last year was the highest in recent history at 64.1 per 10,000 offenders, and the monthly totals are higher this year. Before that, the rate was 50.3 per 10,000 in 2013 and hadn’t topped 50 the decade prior. Major use of force by staff was slightly higher in 2015 compared to last year, and in 2014 the rate of major use of force by staff per 10,000 inmates reached a decade-long apex, at 512.6 per 10,000. The rate of serious assaults on both staff and offenders are down slightly. The rate of serious assaults on staff per 10,000 prisoners in 2014 was 50 percent higher than in 2006, 6.0 per 10,000 prisoners compared to 4.0 per 10,000. Serious assaults in this case are defined as incidents where the staff person needs medical attention beyond first aid.

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