PREA in the News

PREA and Youthful Offender Suicide Risk

Youth are 19 times more likely to commit suicide injail than their adult counterparts in the general population and 36 timesmore likely to commit suicide in an adult jail than in a juvenile detentionfacility.

Some states consider youths of 16 and 17 year olds as adultsand sentence them to serve in adult facilities, rather than juvenile detention.

Those states are:  North Carolina, New York, Missouri, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia,Michigan, Louisiana, Wisconsin.

PREA (the Prison Rape Elimination Act) requires thatjuvenile offenders housed in adult facilities maintain a sight/sound barrierbetween the youth and adults. 

This generally takes that offender out of the generalpopulation. 

And sometimes into a segregation setting, especially insmaller jail facilities.

This is a dangerous combination.  Any offender who is placed in a segregatedhousing unit should not be completely isolated. Interactions with others is vital to mental coping skills, and reducethe risk factors of suicide.  If yourstate adjudicates youth, your facility must have a plan for how to meet boththe PREA requirements and also protect the youth from suicidal actions.

© Educorr 2013