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The Interaction of Personal and Occupational Factors in the Suicide Deaths of Correction Officers
Justice Quarterly  (IF4.717),  Pub Date : 2020-12-21, DOI:
Natasha A. Frost, Carlos E. Monteiro

Abstract

In the aftermath of a cluster of at least twenty suicides among correction officers working for a state department of correction, we conducted the first extensive mixed-methods study of correction officer suicide. Using a grounded theory approach, we sought to better understand the ways in which personal and occupational factors may have contributed to the suicide deaths of the officers. We conducted comprehensive case studies that involved reviewing each officer’s personnel file in its entirety, extracting administrative data to capture work experiences and violence exposures, and conducting interviews with family members and friends of the officers to better understand the personal and professional lives of those officers who had died by suicide. Through inductive analyses of the data collected, we found that the interaction of personal and occupational risk factors with aspects of the occupational work culture best explained suicide among the observed cases.