Assessing the Predictability of Self-harm in a high-risk Adult Prisoner Population

Transform Research Alliance Clinical Research Director – Dr Nat Wright – has co-authored a paper pertaining to self-harm and predictability in prisoners.

This research explored the pre-existing measurement tools for assessing future self-harm behaviours in prisoners undergoing ACCT (Assessment, Care in Custody, Teamwork) monitoring.

Five instruments were administered across prisoners and a 6-month follow-up determined the ability to predict future self-harm.
The study found that none of the scores derived from the instruments identified a meaningful ability to predict self-harm, however, gender-specific item sets were statistically significant in predicting self-harm behaviours.

The implications for future policy were that improvements in staff awareness and attitude towards self-harm, as well as further training are required to help prevent self-harm and suicide in prisons.

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