New Bulletin Examines Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Detained Youths

Posted by Edward Loughran
July 25, 2014

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) has announced the release "Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors Among Detained Youth," a new bulletin in its Beyond Detention series. The bulletin summarizes the methods, findings and implications of suicidal thoughts and behaviors among detained youths participating in the Northwestern Juvenile Project.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Approximately 1 in 10 juvenile detainees thought about suicide in the past 6 months and 11 percent had attempted suicide;
  • Over one-third of male juvenile detainees and nearly half of female juvenile detainees felt hopeless in the 6 months prior to detention;
  • Suicide attempts were most prevalent in female detainees and youths with anxiety disorders; and
  • Less than half of detainees with suicidal thoughts told anyone.

The bulletin concludes that juvenile detention facilities need to systematically screen for suicide risk and that psychiatric facilities at detention facilities must be increased.