Correctional administrators and their staff can no longer invoke the defense that – “If someone really wants to kill themselves there’s generally nothing you can do about it” – unless the agency has implemented a sound suicide prevention policy that includes the critical component of staff training. The risk of inmate suicide and costly litigation cannot be alleviated without a proactive approach to the problem.
NCIA’s Suicide Prevention in Custody Services, under the direction of program director Lindsay M. Hayes, provide services to both local and state correctional agencies throughout the country to help alleviate the risk of inmate suicide and costly litigation.
ALL CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES, REGARDLESS OF SIZE, SHOULD HAVE A DETAILED WRITTEN SUICIDE PREVENTION POLICY. AT A MINIMUM, THE POLICY SHOULD ADDRESS EACH OF THE FOLLOWING EIGHT (8) CRITICAL COMPONENTS:
- Staff Training
- Levels of Observation/Management
- Follow-Up/Morbidity-Mortality Review
NCIA’s Suicide Prevention in Custody Services offerings are specifically tailored to the needs of the agency and include, but are not limited to, assessment of current policies and procedures; assistance in developing and/or revising suicide prevention policies; on-site consultation and debriefing with correctional, medical, and mental health staff; physical plant review; and independent assessment of inmate deaths by suicide. Upon request, a written report of findings and/or recommendations is provided.
“Mr. Hayes was able to identify problems and offer realistic solutions. His people skills and subject matter knowledge were first-rate. We are taking the first step in the process by establishing a new suicide prevention program. Once this is accomplished we will be seeking Mr. Hayes’ assistance to ‘train the trainers’ in an eight-hour prevention program for our correctional staff.”
-County Jail Administrator
The key to any suicide prevention program is staff training – which is also a highly effective shield against liability. All staff who come into contact with inmates, including correctional, medical, and mental health personnel, should receive basic and recurring suicide prevention training.
Training services provided by NCIA’s Suicide Prevention in Custody Services are tailored to the agency (e.g., jail, prison, or juvenile facility) and audience (e.g., line or management staff, trainers, etc.). Seminars typically encompass eight (8) hours of instruction on all aspects of suicide prevention in correctional facilities including, but not limited to, negative attitudes and obstacles to prevention, research, why correctional environments are conducive to suicidal behavior, potential predisposing factors to suicide, high-risk suicide periods, warning signs and symptoms, identifying suicidal inmates despite the denial of risk, guiding principles to suicide prevention, components of an effective suicide prevention policy, mortality reviews, and liability issues.
“Mr. Hayes was well-informed and had his information well organized. He was very articulate, knowledgeable, and managed the time well for the amount of material that was presented. The whole training workshop was excellent.”
-State Department of Corrections Training Academy Director
Mr. Hayes has consulted in hundreds of jail, prison, and juvenile suicide litigation cases throughout the country, and has been qualified as an expert in both state and federal court. In addition, he has been appointed as a federal court monitor, as well as assisted in the development and implementation of suicide prevention policies in correctional systems under court jurisdiction.
“Lindsay Hayes provided information that was incredibly useful in the defense of the county jail that I was defending….One of the reasons my case did not go to trial was because the Plaintiffs became extremely reasonable in their settlement demand in the face of Mr. Hayes’ analysis and opinions. I would not hesitate to call upon him again when the need arises.”
“Mr. Hayes’ involvement as our expert in two important jail suicide lawsuits more than neutralized the defendant’s experts and helped lead to very favorable settlements in each case. His expertise in jail suicides, along with his willingness to answer my questions and lead us in the right direction, were immeasurably significant to the cases.”
“I searched the entire country for an expert witness in jail suicides and was fortunate to have found Mr. Hayes. He provided valuable information which assisted me in preparing my defense, resulting in a favorable resolution of the case. I would not hesitate to utilize him again.”
-Chief Deputy County Counsel
“Mr. Hayes did an excellent job at trial in a very difficult case. The jury certainly listened to his testimony and fully accepted his opinion that our case involved a preventable suicide. I would certainly highly recommend Mr. Hayes to anyone who needs the preeminent expert in the field.”
“The expert assistance provided to me by Mr. Hayes in identifying potential areas of liability and defenses to that exposure were of invaluable assistance to me in successfully representing my client. Should I ever be faced with the difficult task of defending a jail suicide lawsuit in the future, the first person I would reach out to would be Mr. Hayes.”
For further information about our Suicide Prevention in Custody services contact Lindsay M. Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508.337.8806