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Suicide Risk Higher Among Formerly Incarcerated People

Study Examined Data on Former Prisoners in Washington State

A collaborative-funded study examining the risk of suicide among people who were incarcerated in Washington state found former prisoners were more likely to die by suicide.

The study led by Erin Morgan, a fellow at the University of Washington's Harvorview Injury Prevention and Research Center, examined data from Washington State Department of Corrections and vital statistics data from 1990 to 2017.

Researchers found people who were previously incarcerated were 62% more likely to die by suicide, but were less likely to use a firearm than the general population.

The study was published in the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior.

In an article in University of Washington's Newsroom, Dr Morgan said the lower rate of firearm suicide may be because it's more difficult for former prisoners to access firearms.

Dr Morgan was awarded a dissertation grant in the collaborative's 2019 funding round. The study was conducted with University of Washington's Firearm Injury and Policy Research Program, and Dr Morgan was advised by Dr. Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, UW professor of epidemiology.

Read the paper in Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior »

Read more about this study in UW Newsroom »