Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name



Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Committee Member

Gwen Mitchel, Psy.D.

Second Committee Member

Fernand Lubuguin, Ph.D.

Third Committee Member

Chad Waxman, Psy.D.


Corrections, Suicide, Risk assessment, Cultural competency

Publication Statement

Copyright held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Cultural competence in suicide risk assessment has become a necessity given the demographic diversity in the U.S. corrections population and the increasing rate of suicidal behavior in jails and prisons. With few exceptions, little attention has been paid to the cultural training of both clinicians and security staff, and the development of cultural competencies in this field. This paper will focus exclusively on examining the case for cultural competence when conducting a suicide risk assessment in a correctional setting. The author reviews factors that are key in the education and training of culturally informed jail-based therapists and corrections officers, including best practices for educating correctional officers, who are the first line responders to suicide attempts in corrections settings. These factors include understanding the interpersonal theory of suicide, the cultural model of suicide, and the trauma informed care approach in corrections. The author offers future practice recommendations that are based on well-established cultural competencies in the field of suicidology.


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