Suicide and 'violent' death in a six-year cohort of male probationers compared with pattern of mortality in the general population: evidence of accumulative socio-psychiatric vulnerability

J R Soc Health. 1997 Jun;117(3):180-5. doi: 10.1177/146642409711700310.


The 'Health of the Nation' (Department of Health, 1992) suicide targets focus upon the mentally ill, but virtually ignore the mentally abnormal offender. Whilst forensic services deal with the severely disturbed, the majority of offenders remain in the community, despite long-standing psychosocial difficulties. This study explores the mortality rates of a six-year cohort of male probationers (1990-1995) with males in the general population. Male offenders (aged 17-54) had double the death rate, five times the 'external death' rate and nine times the suicide rate of the general population. This paper highlights the need to further improve the health-psychiatric-criminal justice collaboration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Criminal Psychology*
  • England / epidemiology
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*