Being married makes you more likely to commit suicide in prison, according to an Oxford University study. Researchers who looked at almost 4,800 cases from 12 countries also found that white males were more likely to take their own lives while in jail.
The findings contrast with research that shows suicide rates are higher among the single and divorced. In 2007 more than 90 people killed themselves in prisons in England and Wales, up from 67 the year before. Psychiatry researchers at Oxford looked at 34 studies of prison suicides, stretching back over 40 years and covering the deaths of 4,780 people.
The largest number of cases were from England and Wales, followed by the United States, European nations, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
JAIL SUICIDES 2007
92 killed themselves
Up from 67 in 2006
Seven deaths of under-21s
22 of 92 were on suicide watch
44% of prisoners were unsentenced
Figures for England and Wales; Sources: Ministry of Justice/Howard League for Penal Reform
Studies in the general population have consistently shown that marriage plays an important role in reducing the chances of someone taking their life.
But when the prison figures were analysed, the team found that the opposite was true. Those most likely to commit suicide in jail were white, male, married and working before they were convicted, the study concluded.
These prisoners had the most to lose and were likely to be the hardest hit by their sentence, the research suggests.
What this does is spark off in me some of the witticisms connected with the normal hazards of married life even when not banged up.Q. Why do married men usually die years before their wives?.
A. Because they want to.
Marriage? Prison without bars?
A good pal of mine was on the phone and one of his rugby chums was trying to get him out on the hit and miss.
His reply, " I can't make mate, I'm in the I.F.C. "
His pal, obviously enquiring about what the I.F.C. was.
Reggie, " I'm married now mate and she won't let me out, I'm in the 'I'm Fu*ked Club'