Suicide Prevention In Australian Prisons Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Suicide Prevention in Australian Prisons.

Answer:

Background of the research:

Suicide reflects an extremely complex phenomenon that has attracted the attention of theologians, philosophers, sociologists and physicians over the centuries (Fazel & Seewald, 2012). Suicide is the most common reason of death in prisons, jails or correctional settings. Now, authorities are responsible for keeping the health and safety levels of the inmate populations. Therefore, increasing number of suicide cases are raising questions against the performance level of the prison authority. In addition, suicidal behaviour by the prisoners reflects a stressful event for the officers of the prisons (Rabe, 2012). For that reason, it has become critical to identify the best possible way to reduce the suicide rate of the prisoners for avoiding these types of unnecessary circumstances. Different studies have highlighted different factors as the prime cause of suicide in a correctional centre. For that reason, the study will look to analyze all the possible causes related to suicide in prisons for suggesting the best possible way to reduce the rate.

Significance of the research:

Reduction of crimes in the society is the prime objective of any correctional institutions. It reflects that prisons look to provide proper guidelines to the prisoners for leading a healthy life. Now, majority of the prisoners commit suicide due to social pressure and de-motivation from the life (Larney et al., 2012). Therefore, the outcome of the study is expected to highlight all the areas related to suicide of the prisoners. The outcome of the study will help the prison authorities to identify the best possible way to motivate prisoners to lead a healthy life after the completion of punishment. Health problem is another critical issue that induces prisoners to commit suicide (Psychology.org.au, 2017). For that reason, the outcome of the study will able to highlight the prime areas that needs to be improved for reducing the health related issues in an effective way. Thus, the study is focusing on evaluating one of the prime socio cultural issues, which will definitely help the overall quality of the community lifestyle.

Research aim:

The research study aims to identify the best possible way to reduce the suicide-committing rate in Australian prisons.

Research objectives:

In order to reduce the suicide-committing rate in Australian prisons, the study will focus on following objectives:

  • To identify the impact of health issues, de-motivation and social pressure on the suicide rate of Australian prisoners
  • To evaluate the kind of impact absence of any of these factors can have on the suicide committing rate of the Australian prisoners
  • To recommend best possible strategies for the authorities of the Australian prisons or correctional settings to minimize the rate of suicide in near future

Research problem statement:

From the study of the past few years, it has been assessed that the suicide-committing rate has increased in a significant manner (Niedzwiedz et al., 2014). Many social service providers have highlighted the poor hygiene maintained at the Australian prisons, which is causing different health related problems (Zlodre & Fazel, 2012). Now, Australian prisons and jails have undertaken different comprehensive prevention policies for reducing the rate of suicide in a major way. It has been assessed that utilization of different suicide prevention strategies has reduced the rate in a significant way. However, there is no clear-cut idea regarding the exact amount of impact each strategy can have on the on suicide prevention rate of the Australian prisoners (aic.gov.au, 2017). Strategies like pre-trial inmates and sentenced prisoners perception will have to be evaluated in an in-depth manner. Moreover, the complexity level of the communities is increasing on regular basis (Naidoo & Mkize, 2012). As a result, different types of new problems are also arising among the people in correctional settings. However, not many studies have been conducted on understanding the perspective of prisoners. Therefore, authorities of correctional settings do not have any idea regarding the effective way to reduce the suicide tendency of the prisoners (vic.gov.au, 2017). For that reason, the study will look to conduct in-depth research including all aspect of the research topic, which will definitely create positive impact on the successful fulfilment of all the objectives.

Research design and methodology:

As stated by Mackey and Gass (2015) selection of proper research design is critical for covering all aspect of the research topic. In order to identify the best possible way to reduce the suicide rate in Australian prison, the study will focus on following factors:

Research philosophy:

Research philosophy deals with nature, development and source of knowledge for covering all the research objectives in an effective manner. Positivism, interpretivism and realism are the categories of research philosophy that studies will have to consider for covering all the areas in an appropriate way (Taylor, Bogdan & DeVault, 2015). In order to identify the best possible way to reduce the suicide rate in Australian prison, the study will use positivism research philosophy. The selection of positivism philosophy will allow the study to explore different unknown areas related with the psychology of the prisoners. It also allows the study to include common sense for evaluating all the information related with the research topic. As a result, it provides proper guideline to the research study to cover all the areas in an effective manner. The study will not focus on other available research philosophy due to time constraint.

Research approach:

Research approach deals with the way entire study needs to be conducted for successful completion of all the requirements. Deductive, inductive and abductive are the categories of research approach that different studies utilize for accomplishing research objectives (Silverman, 2016). In order to highlight the significance of high suicide rate in Australian prisons, the study will use deductive research approach. The selection of deductive research approach will help the study to include different previous theories and concept related with the research topic. As a result, it would increase the overall value of the study. In addition, selection of deductive approach will help the study to develop clear hypothesis regarding the suicide rate of the Australian prisoners. It will eventually help to cover all the areas related with the research topic. Alternatively, the study will not use inductive research approach, as the study does not require innovation of new theories and models.

Research design:

It provides overall plan regarding the way entire research activities can be conducted in an effective manner. Conclusive and exploratory are the types of research design from which the studies need to select for covering all the areas related with the research topic (Flick, 2015). Here, the study will consider exploratory research design, as it will help to conduct in-depth evaluation on the topic. The selection of exploratory research design will provide more adaptability and flexibility to the research study. As a result, it would help to incorporate different types of sudden information about the research topic. Selection of exploratory research design allows the study to cover all the areas within limited timeframe. It also allows proper evaluation of the developed hypothesis, which will ensure successful completion of all the requirements. Therefore, it eventually helps the study to complete all the requirements within the selected timeframe.

Data collection process:

Data collection procedure focuses on identifying the best possible way to capture all the relevant information about the research topic (Neuman & Robson, 2012). Collection of appropriate data is essential for accomplishing research aims and objectives. In order to cover all the areas associated with the suicide rate in Australian prisons, the study will utilize both primary and secondary data collection technique. The study will use secondary data for the development of quality literature review. In this section, the study will focus on different secondary data sources like Science Direct, Google Scholar and Online library for incorporating necessary data about the research topic. Here, the prime focus will on adding different theories and models related with the research topic for covering all the areas with the research topic. The study will also use different magazines and newspapers to highlight the current situation of the prisoners in Australia.

On the other hand, the study will use primary data collection technique for analyzing the present situation comprehensively. Here, the study will utilize qualitative research method for capturing in-depth information about the suicide rate of the Australian prisoners. The study will conduct face-to-face interview for covering all the areas associated with the research topic. Here, the study will select qualitative approach, as it will allow respondents to share their personal thoughts and believes in an effective way. Moreover, utilization of qualitative research design will help the way suicide rate in Australian prisons or jails have increased over the years (Lather & St. Pierre, 2013). The study will develop a semi-structured questionnaire for conducting face-to-face qualitative interview in an effective way. The study will take 15 – 20 minutes time from each respondent for covering all the areas related with the research topic.

Sample strategy:

Sampling strategy focuses on selecting specific elements from the entire population (Tong et al., 2012). Now, population of the research topic includes all the authorities associated with the Australian prisons and also all the prisoners in Australia. Thus, it reflects extremely huge size of population that cannot be covered within the limited timeframe. Hence, the study has no option than to utilize sampling strategy for covering all the areas associated with the suicide rate of Australian prisoners. Now, non-probability and probability are the available types of sampling technique that studies can use for covering all the areas in an effective way. Now, for assessing the best possible way to reduce the suicide tendency of the prisoners, the study will use non-probability sampling technique. The study will identify 25 authorities of the Australian prisons for gathering in-depth information. The study will consciously select respondents with more than 3 years of experience for ensuring captured data can describe current situation in an effective way.

Data analysis strategy:

As stated by Snyder (2012) data analysis strategy focuses on identifying the best possible way to interpret collected data for the accomplishment of research aims and objectives. As the study focuses on utilizing only qualitative data analysis technique, it will focuses on using conversation analysis in an effective way. This type of conversation analysis is known as ethnographic research. It assumes that all the conversations are governed by patterns and rules. It also assumes that the researcher will understand data provided through the conversation method appropriately. Now, conversation analysis needs in-depth examination of the provided data. Therefore, the study will look to evaluate each word said by the respondents for ensuring outcome of the analysis can describe the actual condition of the patients. The data analysis procedure will focuses on assessing the main challenges that prisoners are facing in correctional settings. It will also highlight the prime causes that increases suicide rate in Australian prisons, which is likely to increase the effectiveness of the correctional settings in a major way.

Ethical concerns:

According to Miller et al. (2012), maintenance of ethics is critical for successful completion of any research study. Maintenance of ethical factors allows the study to avoid any type of unnecessary situations in an effective way. For that reason, the study will focus on maintaining all the guidelines mentioned in the data protection act for ensuring the collected data is not used in any external purposes. It ensures that the outcome of the data collection and analysis procedure will describe the present situation of the prisoners in an effective way. Moreover, the study will also focus on remaining unbiased about the research topic. It will allow respondents to share their own thoughts, beliefs and perspectives in an appropriate way. The study will also not create any type of external pressure for sharing information about the research topic. Thus, it will make conscious effort in keeping the personal respect and dignity of the respondents at the time of capturing data about the suicide rate of Australian prisoners.

Limitations:

The above illustration has indicated the fact that the research study will cover all the areas in an appropriate manner. Still, the study will have certain limitation that can have major impact on overall outcome of the research study. Firstly, the study will be conducted in extremely short period of time. Therefore, it is obvious that it will have to leave certain areas of the research topic. For instance, the study will assume the selected sample size will accurately describe the perspectives of the entire population. The study will also assume all the respondents will share their actual thoughts and beliefs regarding the increasing suicide rate of the Australian prisoners. Secondly, the study will be conducted with limited budget, which will restrict research in conducting different activities that can add value to the outcome. For instance, the budget limitation has restricted the study to focus on qualitative study only. Otherwise, it can also include quantitative research process for ensuring all the areas are covered in an effective manner.

References:

aic.gov.au, (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jun. 2017].

Fazel, S., & Seewald, K. (2012). Severe mental illness in 33 588 prisoners worldwide: systematic review and meta-regression analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 200(5), 364-373.

Flick, U. (2015). Introducing research methodology: A beginner's guide to doing a research project. Sage.

Larney, S., Topp, L., Indig, D., O'driscoll, C., & Greenberg, D. (2012). A cross-sectional survey of prevalence and correlates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among prisoners in New South Wales, Australia. BMC public health, 12(1), 14.

Lather, P., & St. Pierre, E. A. (2013). Post-qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), 629-633.

Mackey, A., & Gass, S. M. (2015). Second language research: Methodology and design. Routledge.

Miller, T., Birch, M., Mauthner, M., & Jessop, J. (Eds.). (2012). Ethics in qualitative research. Sage.

Naidoo, S., & Mkize, D. L. (2012). Prevalence of mental disorders in a prison population in Durban, South Africa. African Journal of Psychiatry, 15(1), 30-35.

Neuman, W. L., & Robson, K. (2012). Basics of social research: Qualitative and quantitative approaches.

Niedzwiedz, C., Haw, C., Hawton, K., & Platt, S. (2014). The definition and epidemiology of clusters of suicidal behavior: a systematic review. Suicide and life-threatening behavior, 44(5), 569-581.

Psychology.org.au. (2017). Australian Psychological Society : Considerations for suicide prevention in Australia’s prisons. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jun. 2017].

Rabe, K. (2012). Prison structure, inmate mortality and suicide risk in Europe. International journal of law and psychiatry, 35(3), 222-230.

Silverman, D. (Ed.). (2016). Qualitative research. Sage.

Snyder, C. (2012). A case study of a case study: Analysis of a robust qualitative research methodology. The Qualitative Report, 17(13), 1.

Taylor, S. J., Bogdan, R., & DeVault, M. (2015). Introduction to qualitative research methods: A guidebook and resource. John Wiley & Sons.

Tong, A., Flemming, K., McInnes, E., Oliver, S., & Craig, J. (2012). Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research: ENTREQ. BMC medical research methodology, 12(1), 181.

vic.gov.au, (2017). [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 Jun. 2017].

Zlodre, J., & Fazel, S. (2012). All-cause and external mortality in released prisoners: systematic review and meta-analysis. American journal of public health, 102(12), e67-e75

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