This thesis explores the circumstances surrounding 110 prisoner suicides in Ontario’s provincial and federal correctional facilities between 1992 and 2006. Using data obtained from the Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario, a detailed examination of all available files of Coroners’ inquests into suicides was conducted. Intersectionality served as a critical theoretical framework for the analysis of variables in this study. Several demographic, institutional, and clinical factors were associated with suicides in prisons. Consistent with findings from the Canadian and international literature, prisoner suicides are most common among young, single males. Suicides are more common in the early stages of incarceration, particularly among inmates housed in provincial remand facilities. A history of mental illness was documented in 39% of cases. The preferred method of suicide in prisons continues to be hanging, accounting for 94% of deaths in the sample. In light of the findings, prevention strategies and recommendations for change are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Burtch, Brian
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