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The association between suicide screening practices and attempts requiring emergency care in juvenile justice facilities.

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  • 1Department of Public and International Affairs, Justice, Law and Crime Policy Program, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA.



To provide a national description of suicide screening practices in juvenile residential facilities and to examine their association with whether facilities experience a suicide attempt.


Multivariate modeling with data from the 2000 Juvenile Residential Facility Census (n = 3690 facilities).


Controlling for facility characteristics, screening the entire facility population within the first 24 hours after arrival is significantly linked to lower odds of serious suicide attempts (odds ratio 0.23-0.65). Facilities screening just some of their population in a 2- to 7-day window after arrival exhibited significantly higher odds of serious suicide attempts (odds ratio 1.30-4.73).


Results suggest that facility-level risks of serious suicide attempts may be reduced by screening every child and adolescent entering a juvenile justice facility within the 24-hour window directly following arrival, regardless of the facility size and whether the youths came directly from another facility within the system.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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