4th October 2018
The SADA project (Self-Harm Assessment and Data Analysis) was developed by staff in the Irish Prison Service, in collaboration with the National Office for Suicide Prevention and the National Suicide Research Foundation. The reports will be published on an annual basis, and will "increase and improve [IPS] responses to maintaining safer prisons."
Factors relating to mental health issues/mental illness were the primary contributory factors recorded; these related to the "presence of mental disorders, coping and emotional dysregulation, substance misuse and hopelessness."
The findings also highlighted prison-specific contributory factors; these related to environment, including accommodation as well as legal issues. Other cited factors includes procedural issues ("a recent cell move and change in regime or security level") and relationship difficulties with staff, family members and friends, as well as with other prisoners.
On publication of the report, Michael Donnellan, Director General, Irish Prison Service, said:
"The issue of suicide and self-harm is a major concern in today's society, and this problem is even more emphasised in a prison setting where people are separated from family, friends and community supports. The Self-Harm Assessment and Data Analysis (SADA) Project allows the prison service to take an in-depth look at this issue and hopefully reduce incidents in the future".
IPRT strongly welcomes the SADA project, the recording of contributory factors associated with episodes of self-harm, and the publication of the data.
The report can be accessed here.