Yesterday, there was a study released by Florida Atlantic University about suicide in America’s jails and prison. The bottom line is the data is not good.
The jail system is not a place for people that have trauma and struggle with a will to live. In my view, the criminalization of PTSD must end. A jail cell should not be the home of the traumatized, the mental ill or a veteran. The needs of these groups is not found in a jumpsuit.
While this was a secular that does not any hope or answers, I believe there is important information that we can find in the mix of it all. Identifying the problem is something that the world can do. They just can’t give any hope or real answers because Jesus is the only hope for humanity and the only answer is in Christ alone.
Suicide is a very serious matter and the nation is at a crisis point. There is over 130 people every single day that end their lives because they struggle to find the hope that is in only Jesus. Sadly, the Church in the country is completely unprepared for the trouble we are facing.
What did the Florida Atlantic study find
While the average stay in a jail is 23 days, 40% of all suicides happen within the first 7 days. This might seem crazy to think they would be out in a few weeks if they just waited it out but most people jail is the final stop of a long road of struggles. There is also the issue of traumatized triggers if this is not their trip to the slammer.
- 80 attempts to each successful suicide
- 61% higher for first time visits to jails
- 64% higher for women than men in jails.
- 100% higher chance for those with addictions
- 180% increase once witnessing violence in jail
- 104% increase among the homeless in jail
- 250% increase if sexually assaulted in jail.
One of the stats that I find interesting is that there is a 6.7% increase in recent months of suicide in our jails than before, even in the middle of the health crisis. This is concerning to put it lightly.
The one telling things from the study is the admission that current model of “suicide watch” just do not work. This should not alarm us. It has never worked and can’t. Isolation and putting someone in a “pickle suit” only delays the attempt and make it more serious. Now, the person who is unstable is stripped of all dignity and respect from the people that are told to protect them.
The longer this goes on, the more serious the intent becomes for someone traumatized. In a country as developed as the United States, dehumanizing a broken person to the point of killing them in the custody of the state is beyond unacceptable.
Yet, this is what the world’s system is doing to our young women (as well as men) Suicide is not something to take lightly. Many people are crying out for help and the time in the slammer should a season of a reset for them and the state should be committed to getting them practical help but they are not.
The only answer is Jesus that restores all things to the broken man!
Turning the tables on Suicide
In Esther, we read that the enemy has hoped to overpower the people of God and destroy them. However, the “tables were turned” and the people overcome the threat. The enemy is using suicide as a means to destroy lives both inside and outside out assembly. Yea, God has a plan to turn things around.
What is that plan? It is the gospel being proclaimed. Psychology can’t impart hope. Social Workers can’t give someone love. Psychiatrists can’t give you peace. The only things that gives someone hope, love and peace is the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Let me be clear, the messages of this world has NO power. They have no answers. All they have is a lame attempt to do what Jesus did without believing that Jesus really did what He said He did.
Every driver of suicide: guilt, shame, condemnation, depression, anxiety; it was nailed to the cross at Golgotha. When a person realizes that Jesus took all these driver from them when He died for them, freedom comes to the soul. The divine exchange happens and they receive acceptance, hope, liberty, and joy at the foot of the Cross.
I am very concerned about the growing issue of suicide in our jails but I am not without hope because I know there is Pentecostal ministries going in those jails every week preaching the finished work of Jesus.