Cases are on the rise in Kenya of our police officers losing life by suicide either through family related issue or mental health issues. Baco Kenya in collaboration with the ministry of interior, is in the forefront to engage our men and women in uniform in counseling programs
Multiple sources indicate an increase in the rise of suicidal cases in Kenyan prisons.Inmates are human being like everyone and have a reason to live and be treated well in acondisuve envirinment.
Solitude, grief, mental illness and hopelessness are the main drivers of suicide among inmates, according to experts.Razor blades, nails and bedsheets are popular tools for most prison suicides in the world.Besides suicide, inmates may also be executed by other people for varying reasons, including cover-up for previous criminal activities, especially where exposure jeopardises either the reputation or fortune of other people.
In developed counties such as the UK and the US, dangerous inmates are put on suicide watch and closely watched to prevent them from self-harm.Technology has however disrupted the dynamics of suicide watch, with inmates being monitored through closed-circuit television cameras instead of actual prison wardens or the police.
It is no secrete that death in custody is a mystery on rise. According to Prof Christine Tartaro, an expert in criminal justice and lecturer at Stockton University, use of non-human means to monitor inmates is the genesis of other problems.
BACO is on a campaign mission and advices the government on better service to the inmates.This deplorable state could also be pushing inmates to take their own lives.A remand facility in Meru initially designed to accommodate 200 inmates, for instance, has been reported to hold more than 800 persons; what is not only a case of thin resources but extreme negligence as well.
Data from World Population Brief (WBP) shows that by March, Kenya had a total of 55,000 prisoners, including pre-trial detainees or people in remand who account for a startling 43 percent of all prisoners in Kenyan jails
Margaret Kitsusa, a psychologist, says in spite of crammed facilities, being in jail is a lonely experience that drives inmates to suicidal thoughts, especially those who are unable to adjust to the vagaries of prison life. “Spending too much time in jail, especially for people serving life terms, makes life not worth living anymore. “ This then drives them into self-affliction and suicidal ideations,” Ms Kitsusa explains.
Inamates have no access to direct phone calls and this therefore means they can be reached by by mentalhealth organizations but not the other way. Conviction upon false accusation also plunges suspects into hopelessness and depression.
Some people are not strong enough to withstand the storm of stigma that comes with imprisonment. Such people may choose to end their life before they are released.Throwing mental patients in prison only makes their circumstances worse, as the solitary jail environment gives them the leeway to plot suicide.Spending time with the inametes and sharing with them brings to our attention of different approaches to different inmates.