Role of criminal defense attorneys in suicide prevention following defendant arrest

Project Type(s):

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Joellyn Sheehy, MD

This study will explore the role that criminal defense attorneys could play in reducing risk of suicide amongst recently arrested criminal defendants. Suicide is the leading cause of death in jails and the period after recent arrest may be a particularly vulnerable time for suicide. For many persons with recent arrest, their attorney is one of only a small number of persons that they encounter in the days following arrest. This proposal aims to better understand the experience of the criminal defense attorney in working with clients who have suicidal thinking or behavior; training they have received in the past; desired training (such as suicide risk identification, trauma-informed care, resources); and challenges in disclosures in light of their professional responsibility to preserve client confidences. 

Project Period:
July 1, 2022 June 30, 2023

Funding Type(s):

Mary. E Nelson Charitable Remainder Trust, Heidi Combs Trustee

Geographic Area(s):

Patient Population(s):

Targeted Condition(s):
Suicidal Ideation