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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00665

Implementation of a suicide risk screening instrument in a remand prison service in Berlin

 Dora Dezsö1*,  Norbert Konrad1,  Katharina Seewald2 and Annette Opitz-Welke1
  • 1Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • 2Research & Development Division, Berlin Prison & Probation Services, Germany

In the present study, we examined the effects of implementing a suicide risk screening instrument in a pre-trial detention facility for men in Berlin. Within a period of 3 months, all newly arriving prisoners were screened by social workers or prison officers. Cases of elevated suicide risk were immediately referred to psychological or medical service personnel the same day. Follow-up over a 6-month period showed that 14% of all incoming prisoners were classified as high-risk individuals. These individuals received significantly more psychological and psychiatric treatment and were significantly more likely to be accommodated in crisis intervention rooms and emergency communities such as shared prison cells. In addition, it was found that despite the increased amount of treatment in the high-risk group, the number of specific measures did not increase significantly compared to the pre-implementation phase.

Keywords: suicide prevention, Suicide screening, Penal institution, Pre-trial detention, Prison suicide

Received: 20 Sep 2018; Accepted: 19 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Athanassios Douzenis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School, Greece

Reviewed by:

Axel Haglund, Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine, Sweden
Petros Ntounas, Self-employed  

Copyright: © 2018 Dezsö, Konrad, Seewald and Opitz-Welke. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Miss. Dora Dezsö, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Institute of Forensic Psychiatry, Berlin, Germany, dora_dezso@gmx.de