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Lancet. 1991 Dec 7;338(8780):1436-8.

Impact of psychiatric services on prison suicide.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago Medical School, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Abstract

Severe restrictions on the transfer of mentally disturbed prisoners to psychiatric hospital were introduced in Auckland in 1983, while policy in other parts of New Zealand was unchanged. Among male prisoners, the suicide rate (per 100,000 man-years) increased from 27.3 in 1973-82 to 178.0 in 1983-87--an increase in relative risk, compared with unconfined men, from 1.6 to 8.2. Auckland accounted for most of this increase, from 37/100,000 man-years in 1973-82 to 549/100,000 in 1983-87. This striking increase in prison suicide rate in Auckland underlines the importance of ready access to psychiatric care for prisoners.

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PMID:
1683429
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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