<p>JUVENILE SUICIDE IN CONFINEMENT:
A NATIONAL SURVEY
Lindsay M. Hayes
National Center on Institutions and Alternatives
It is my pleasure to present to you the report Juvenile Suicide in Confinement: A National
Survey. This study, commissioned by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
Prevention in 1999, is the first comprehensive effort to determine the scope and distribution
of suicides by youth confined in our public and private juvenile facilities throughout the
country. In many ways, this report closely supports two prior initiatives funded by this office,
both Conditions of Confinement: Juvenile Detention and Corrections Facilities and the
Performance-Based Standards Project. This report should be viewed as a working companion
to those landmark OJJDP initiatives.
The results of this research present many challenges to both direct care and health care
personnel who work with confined youth on a daily basis, as well as for administrators who
have the responsibility for providing safety and security to this very vulnerable population.
Suicide prevention is a primary goal for all of us who work in and manage juvenile facilities.
At a minimum, however, we must ensure that each death within our facilities is accounted
for, comprehensively reviewed, and provisions made for appropriate corrective action. It is
my hope that the data and insights offered in this comprehensive first national survey will
provide motivation for continued efforts at reducing the opportunity for suicide within our
public and private juvenile facilities throughout the country.
J. Robert Flores
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Collaboration amongst staff is perhaps the single most important ingredient to any
successful suicide prevention program. The task of completing the first national survey
of juvenile suicide in confinement could not have been accomplished without the collaborative
efforts of a project team comprising prominent juvenile justice pr