Suicidal ideation and associated behaviors are up to four times more common among jail inmates than the general community (Jenkins et al., 2005; Hayes, 1986). Research finds a variety of social, biological, and psychological factors interact to influence suicidal thoughts of incarcerated individuals (Bonner, 1992; Borrill et al., 2005). Particularly, psychological distress such as, depression and feelings of hopelessness, along with loss of social support and decreased feelings of connectedness have been linked to suicidal ideation and behaviors (Moscicki, 1997; Hawton & van Heeringen, 2009). Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017) has emphasized the importance of connectedness for suicide prevention. Feelings of loneliness and isolation are of particular concern among jail inmates. These factors have been linked to disproportionate rates of suicidal ideation or participation in suicidal behavior among inmates relative to community populations (Biggam & Power, 1997, Chapman et al., 2005, Ivanoff & Jang, 1991, Jenkins et al., 2005, Palmer & Connelly, 2005; Larney et al., 2012; Liebling, 1992, Marzano et al., 2011; Suto & Arnaut, 2010). Using longitudinal data collected from newly incarcerated jail inmates, the current study examines the impact family, social support, and connectedness have on suicide risk and ideation amongst jail inmates. Study findings have potential implications for policy and practice to better identify and manage suicide risk within jail settings.

Thesis Completion




Thesis Chair/Advisor

Viglione, Jill


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice



Access Status

Open Access

Release Date