Author(s): Ammar MM, Borras L, Eytan A
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Abstract Suicide among prisoners is a relatively well documented public health issue. On the other hand, data about self-aggressive behaviours in prisons are scarce, despite the fact that this problem seems to be highly prevalent. We conducted a retrospective study over a fifteen months period in a remand prison situated in the French speaking area of Switzerland. During this time period, 161 self-aggressive behaviours were recorded, corresponding to 80 inmates. The most frequent acts were self-cuttings and self-mutilations, followed by strangulations. All these patients were male and their mean age was 25. Some of these behaviours (ingesting cutting objects and sewing of the lips) were specific to some ethno-cultural groups. Copycat behaviours play a significant role in closed communities such as prisons. These results underline the necessity of taking into account self-aggressive behaviours in penitentiary institutions.
This article was published in Bull Soc Sci Med Grand Duche Luxemb
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy