Why is there such a spike in suicide rates in Georgia prisons? And why are many inmates in solitary confinements killing themselves?
Georgia Prison Suicides Surpasses National Average
As at November 9th, 13 inmates in Georgian state prisons had committed suicide in 2017 alone.
One of them was on death row and two others were in solitary confinement. Another who was not added to the Georgia prison suicide stats died in the hospital after being found hanging in his cell.
In October 2017 alone, there were four Georgia prison suicides. There were just nine throughout the entire 2016 year.
An expert in suicides prevention, Lindsay Hayes of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives NCIA(), blames degrading mental health and shortage of prison staff for the suicides in Georgia prisons, which have surpassed the national average.
“At a lot of prisons…they are decreasing the population of lower-level offenders.
What remains are inmates serving longer terms. Many of those folks have greater mental health issues, which is one of the risk factors for suicide.”
California, Arizona and Hawaii among other US states have all witnessed surges in the number of inmate suicides. But Georgia seems to take the lead.
There is a national rate of about 17 inmate suicides per 100,000 inmates. But Georgia alone has 26.9 per 100,000, with nearly a 53,000 prisoner population.
What Are the Causes of Georgia Spike in Prison Suicides?
Many of these prison suicides have occurred among inmates held in 7-feet-by-13-feet solitary confinement cells without books or human interaction of any kind.
Sarah Geraghty, managing partner at Southern Center for Human Rights SCHR(), noted:
“I suspect the increase in suicides may be related to the GDC’s increased use of solitary confinement.”
She added that prolonged solitary confinement is contributory to mental illness. According to Geraghty, inmates kept in solitary cells are:
“…delusional and have lost touch with reality, conditions that are likely exacerbated by prolonged solitary confinement.”
Visit Your Incarcerated Loved Ones in Georgia on Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve 2017
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Considering that the year is running to a swift end, you must consider visiting your incarcerated loved ones in Georgia prisons.
A prison transportation company, Grace Walkers Center Transportation, will be providing prison transport services on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to Emanuel Women’s Facility.
Grace Walkers Center is not only about prison transport visits, they also help provide temporary housing to recently released prisoners.
This non-profit is doing its part to create re-entry programs, put and end to recidivism and provide rides to Georgia prisons for loved ones.