GIS - 04 December, 2015: 36 Prison Officers attended on 2nd December at the Mauritius Prison Service in Beau Bassin, a training programme on suicide prevention in prisons in view of addressing the problem of suicide in prison.
An initiative of the Mauritius Prison Service, the aim was to empower the officers with the required competence to handle the problem of suicide in prisons in a proficient manner. The trained officers will eventually be called upon to act as coordinator in different institutions in dealing with all mechanisms related to the prevention of suicide amongst detainees.
At the end of the training certificate was handed over to the participants. It will be recalled that gradually other prison officers will be enrolled for the same training programme.
Another initiative taken by the Mauritius Prison Service to avoid the problem of suicide in prisons is the setting up of a Suicide Prevention Coordinating Board in October this year.
The Board which comprises a team of Prison Officers under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner of prison, aims at facilitating the implementation of suicide prevention mechanism put in place at different levels of a detainee’s sentence as well as elaborating a suicide prevention programme and ascertaining sustainability of suicide prevention strategies set up in prisons through research work based on the best international practices.
Another function of the Board is to disseminate information to all stakeholders regarding suicide prevention in prisons setting and prepare a group of peer educators in every penal institution who will work in close collaboration with the suicide prevention coordinator to detect and prevent suicidal attempts and behaviours.
The Board which meets at regular intervals also has the responsibility to ascertain that all mechanisms put in place are operating properly. Expertise from external organisations is also being solicited in the field of suicide prevention in prisons.
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