Deliberate self-mutilation in Lithuanian correctional settings

Rita Bandzevičienė, Marija Tamulevičienė


This study identifies the typical motivations and risk factors which have affected deliberate selfinjures of inmates in the prisons of Lithuania. A sample consisted of patients (N=90) who had attended the Lithuanian Prison Hospital following a non-fatal act of self-harm performed at one of eleven correctional settings. All participants completed questionnaires designed to assess drives for incident and individual, criminological and social variables that could affect it, and 24,4% of the participants were interviewed in-depth. Results show that relatively younger age, previous self harm history, longer terms of imprisonment, unemployment, adaptation problems and lack of support at the institution, and feelings of desperation and hostility are related to self harm risk. Critical events with perceived dangerous subsequence in the prehistory of major cases were found. Thus, manipulative function of deliberate self-injure was prevalent, nevertheless, not unique. Insights and recommendations are offered focusing on ways to prevent and reduce self-injures in the correctional settings.


offenders; deliberate self-mutilation; suicidality; risk of self harm; motivation

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789