Jails and prisons have the responsibility of protecting the general public by keeping bad guys behind bars. They’re also responsible for the safety of the prisoners.
Inmates face many dangers during their incarceration, such as assaults of all types. They also have a fairly high suicide attempt rate, a leading cause of jail deaths. The rate of prison suicide is slightly higher than the rate in the community.
Once a prisoner has been identified as suicidal, officers take immediate action. They isolate the inmate from others and take away anything the inmate could use to harm himself, including clothing. Officers closely monitor the inmate’s activities and actions.
While on suicide watch inmates may be issued special smocks instead of normal jail clothing. The smocks are tear-proof and much too bulky to make a noose for hanging. They’re fastened with wide, heavy-duty Velcro.
Safe mattresses contain built-in pillows.
Special cells with heavily padded walls are often used to house suicidal inmates.
The ability to make weapons from everyday items has always been a problem in prisons and jails, especially for suicidal inmates. Therefore, manufacturers have developed special products, such as:
Safety razors (yes, inmates are issued razors)
Flexible (non-rigid) ink pens