The Suicide Cultures team has recently published an article which explores how suicide is  understood within the context of Scottish prisons. Here is the abstract and an open-access link to the article:

Rates of suicides are on the rise in Scottish prisons. Fatal Accident and Sudden Deaths Inquiries (FAIs) carried out by sheriffs following these deaths provide a valuable source of knowledge regarding how the criminal justice system understands and responds to incarcerated people’s suicides. Informed by literature in critical suicide studies and narrative criminology, we conducted an abductive, narrative qualitative analysis of 37 FAI reports of incarcerated people’s suicides published between 2016 and 2021, in Scotland. We argue that the FAIs explicitly individualise incarcerated people’s suicides, deploying explanatory narratives of (1) mental illness, (2) social history and (3) problematic substance use, while (4) simultaneously emphasising and undermining incarcerated people’s testimony and agency. By conceptualising suicide as paradoxically ‘unforeseeable’ and ‘inevitable’, these narratives shift blame onto the individual while absolving the prison system. Our analysis contributes towards understanding of how institutional procedures are implicated in social scripts and practices around suicide in Scottish prisons.

You can read the full article here: ‘Unforeseeable’ and ‘inevitable’: Constructions of prison suicide in Scotland’s Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiries – Sarah I Huque, Rebecca Helman, Joe Anderson, Amy Chandler, 2024 (

Prison” by JoshuaDavisPhotography is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.