Jerzy Pobocha


The paper presents the nomenclature, types and statistical data on self-mutilation among prisoners in different countries. The research on self-mutilation among children and youth in some European countries indicate that they most often occur in Belgium, and often carried out by girls. It presents how the problem of self-injury to the eyeballs among prisoners in Poland was resolved in the years 1980-84. It further presents statistical data on the number of prisoners on temporary detention and those convicted in Poland in the years 2001-2014. In Poland, thanks to multi-directional actions, including the introduction of electronic monitoring, increased scope of activities of educators, psychologists, and psychiatric doctors a drop in self-mutilation was recorded, per 100,000 prisoners from 788 in 2001 to 36 in 2014, i.e. by 90%. After 2010, as result of the reform of the prison system, a significant drop was also recorded in deaths due to illness and self-mutilation. The suicide rate among prisoners decreased after 2001, resulting in 20 per 100,000 prisoners in 2012. This is a lower rate than in penitentiary institutions, e.g. in England and Wales. These results were achieved despite the fact that expenditure on penitentiary institutions in Poland are several times lower than equivalent institutions in Europe and the US. The results obtained are the effect of the work of all prison officers, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, observance of human rights and humanization of the execution of penalties.

Keyword(s): self-injury; prison; penitentiary reform.
DOI: 10.5200/sm-hs.2016.016
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