Co-existing violence and self-harm: dual harm in an early-stage male prison population

Slade, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-7442-4805, Forrester, A. and Baguley, T. ORCID: 0000-0002-0477-2492, 2020. Co-existing violence and self-harm: dual harm in an early-stage male prison population. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 25 (2), pp. 182-189. ISSN 1355-3259

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Purpose: This study examined the characteristics of men in prison who have a history of both self-harm and violence (known as dual harm) and the extent to which demographic and criminogenic factors, in-prison incidents and self-harm method could differentiate men who dual harm.

Methods: Official prison sample data were examined for the period April 2010 to November 2017 (n = 965). Regression analysis of all custodial incidents, demographic and offending information, and imprisonment experience, was undertaken.

Results: Self harm was associated with violence in prison, representing a 3.5-fold risk of violence compared with men who did not self-harm, after controlling for time in prison, age and index offence. 60% of men who harmed themselves also engaged in custodial violence, while 32% who were violent also had a self-harm event. After controlling for age at first incident, 11% of the sample had custodial history of dual harm and they accounted for 56% of all recorded custodial incidents. They had a high probability of property damage and fire-setting in prison and spent 40% longer in custody). Men who dual harmed used a greater variety of self-harm methods, with increased use of lethal methods.

Conclusion: Dual harm is prevalent, particularly amongst those who harm themselves in prison. Men who dual harm contribute excessively to the overall incident burden in prison and demonstrate behavioural variability and risk regarding both violence and self-harm. The findings challenge the usual distinctive management responses or that self-harm or violence are solely the responsibility of health or justice; with greater integration required.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Dual harm in prison [running head]
Publication Title: Legal and Criminological Psychology
Creators: Slade, K., Forrester, A. and Baguley, T.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: September 2020
Volume: 25
Number: 2
ISSN: 1355-3259
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 23 Mar 2020 15:17
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2020 09:57

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