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Br J Clin Psychol. 2012 Mar;51(1):4-18. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8260.2010.02007.x. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

The impact of prison staff responses on self-harming behaviours: prisoners' perspectives.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Centre for Suicide Research, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford, UK. lisa.marzano@psych.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To further understanding of how health and correctional staff responses to self-harming behaviours influence prisoners and their subsequent actions.

DESIGN:

Participant-centred, qualitative methods were used to explore the complex and under-researched perspectives of self-harming male prisoners.

METHOD:

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 adult male prisoners who had engaged in repetitive, non-suicidal self-harm during their current prison sentence, or considered doing so. The interviews were analyzed drawing on principles of thematic analysis and discourse analysis.

RESULTS:

With some exceptions, prison officers, nurses, and doctors are portrayed by prisoners as being ill-prepared to deal with repetitive self-harm, often displaying actively hostile attitudes and behaviours.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings underscore the need for appropriate training, support and supervision for staff working with self-harming prisoners.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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