The number of prisoners taking their own lives is increasing worldwide. In the U.S., suicide was found to be the leading cause of death among local jail inmates in the year 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. It was also one of the five leading causes of death among state prison inmates.
During a 10-year period between 2000 and 2010, the Department of Justice noted that almost half of prison suicides occurred within seven days after the prisoner was admitted. Of those who committed suicide, the highest was among white and older males.
In the U.K., particularly in England and Wales, the rate of prison suicides reached its highest level in 2013 within a seven-year period.