This special issue of Health & Justice explores the issue of suicide and self-harm in justice-involved populations. Suicide is a worldwide phenomenon with over 800,000 people taking their lives each year. Eventual suicides are 5 times higher in male prisoners and 20 times higher in female prisoners than in general population controls. Similarly high rates are also demonstrated for people in police custody, the courts and probation services in the community. To address this issue, suicide and self-harm behaviour should be considered in people who self-harm or attempt suicide throughout the criminal justice pathway. Such individuals are often characterised as being at risk either by the nature of their behaviour and or their propensity to risk can occur at any point in the system. Given the importance of this topic this article collection attempts to provide more insights and evidence on how to assess, screen and monitor self-harm and suicidal behaviour in the criminal justice pathway, look towards effective treatment interventions and explore potential training barriers and staff attitudes for people working in the criminal justice system, consider the impact of any environmental factors for people in custody settings, as well as the views of families and perspectives of service users and the impact of suicide and self-harm on their health and well-being.
Edited by Amanda Perry, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK