International research has shown an increased suicide rate among people in prison. However, studies have yet to address age structural differences. In this longitudinal the suicide rates among male prisoners is compared to the general population in three Nordic countries, Denmark, Iceland, and Norway, while adjusting for age differences.
Findings from the study shows that men in prison have a 7-fold higher suicide rate compared to the background population in Denmark, Iceland, and Norway and when accounting for age differences. For females, a rate 18-fold higher suicide rate was found among those in prison when compared to the general population. Over the 17-year study period, the suicide rate of people in prison decreased from 129 per 100,000 in 1999 to 70 per 100,000 in 2016. This decline was steeper that the decline observed for the suicide rate in the general population in the Nordic countries.
Link to study
DRISP: Britt Morthorst, Charlotte Mühlmann, Trine Madsen, Merete Nordentoft
og Annette Erlangsen
- Lars Mehlum, Professor, National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, Institute of Clinical Medicine Oslo, Norway
- Aiguröur Pàlsson, MD, Unit of Forensic Psychiatry, Iceland
- Högni Óskarsson, md, Humus inc., Iceland Yngve Hammerlin, MD, Correctional Service of Norway Staff Academy, Norway