Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

F. Richard Ferraro, Ph.D.


Suicide and self-mutilation risk assessment is a complicated process, especially within a correctional setting. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, over 50% of incarcerated individuals have a mental health illness, further reinforcing the need for concise, evidence-based risk assessment practices. The Virginia Department of Corrections collected data on suicide attempts, completed suicides, and incidents of self-injurious behavior for 17 months with a measure created to assess risk factor found in the community. Results indicated that numerous factors were related to suicide attempts, however only having made prior suicide attempts, the presence of a major depression diagnosis, and placement in Special Housing were effective predictors. Conclusions were then used to refine and improve on the current risk assessment used as well as improve the data collection measure to continue the research.