Image of the crisis care unit at Bandyup Women's Prison


Staff in adult and youth custodial facilities are required to report incidents involving threats of self-harm, acts of self-harm and actual attempts of suicide (DOJ, 2020). Actual self-harm incidents are later classified as either ‘minor’ or ‘serious’ using algorithms that consider information provided during the incident reporting process. Typically, a serious self-harm incident will involve …

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Image of doctor's hands holding an electronic tablet looking at medical record information.

Key findings

Policy framework establishes expectation for accurate incident reporting The Department has a clear policy and procedural framework requiring custodial staff to report all incidents involving threats of self-harm, acts of self-harm and actual attempts of suicide. The definition of self-harm and attempted suicide used by the Department generally align with mental health agencies. However, the …

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Image of inside a crisis care cell at Casuarina Prison


Accurately recording acts of self-harm and attempted suicides are critical for the Department of Justice to understand the extent of mental health challenges faced by people held in adult prisons and youth detention facilities. Without such data, the level of demand and subsequent resources needed to support the wellbeing of people in custody cannot be …

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Image of a close up of section of a computer keyboard, with a blue key with the words Record Management


Recommendation 1 Review the definition of ‘attempted suicide’ in COPP 13.1 Incident Notifications, Reporting and Communications and in the At-Risk Management System (ARMS) Manual and align with the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia. Recommendation 2 Introduce a clinical review process of all self-harm and attempted suicide incidents to ensure classification applied is accurate, enabling …

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