MICHIGAN: Study aims to reduce suicides after jail time

October 02, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Michigan

MSU Today

People recently released from jail are at high risk for suicide, yet receive little mental health care during the critical first year after transitioning back to their communities. A new project at Michigan State University (MSU), funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Justice, aims to learn more about suicide and other mental health issues in this population, and will test out a new protocol designed to help recently released inmates. For four years, researchers will track the mental health of 800 inmates following their release from jails in Michigan and Rhode Island. Half of these individuals will try a new method which includes safety planning, while the other half will receive standard post-release care (except when researchers believe someone in the control group is at risk, in which case they will mobilize emergency care). “One in 34 people in the United States are currently involved with the justice system,” said Jennifer Johnson, professor of public health at MSU and lead researcher for the study. “So chances are… they could be your neighbors. Offering them a chance to succeed is important.”

Spark Extra! Check out SPRC’s resource sheet on Suicide Prevention Resources for Adult Corrections.