Correction Officer stress and suicide
This position paper examines the issue of Correction Officer stress and suicide. An overview of the perceived problem is discussed along with general predictors of suicide. Suicide risk among Police and Correction Officers is also examined to determine similarities and/or differences in comparison to suicide risk factors among the general population. Although the literature indicates that predisposing factors of suicide among the general population and among Police and Correction Officers is similar, there are occupational stress hazards that differentiate between the two. Among the differentiating factors is the access to firearms, indirect traumatization, and the existing subcultures of Police and Correction Officer agencies that may impact willingness of officers to seek help in times of crisis. There are limitations in research regarding Correction Officer suicides that pose challenges in obtaining reliable data and consistent literature. For example, many law enforcement agencies do not record officer suicides, mislabel the cause of death in suicide incidents, and/or fail to report the suicide incident at all. As a result, the issue is not acknowledged and is grossly underreported. This leaves questions regarding the accuracy of statistical information currently available. This position paper concludes with an overview of existing policies and suicide prevention training programs for officers in various agencies across the states. Recommendations for future research to improve and/or develop more effective training, prevention, and intervention strategies for officers are explored and encouraged.
0624: Occupational psychology