MSU researcher hopes to curb suicides among released jail inmates

Sep 30, 2015

Many of the people arrested in the United States suffer from a mental illness, and research indicates that those released from custody are four times as likely to attempt suicide when compared with those in jail. We talk with Dr. Jennifer Johnson about her research aimed at lowering the post-detention suicide rate.


Nearly 12-million people pass through America’s jails each year, and it’s believed more than half suffer from some type of mental illness. The time between a detainee’s release from jail and their court appearance is often when they’re most vulnerable.

Research suggests released persons are four times more likely to attempt suicide than those in jail. An MSU clinical psychology professor is leading a study aimed at stopping the post-detention suicide rate.

Dr. Jennifer Johnson is a clinical psychologist. She’s a C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Flint.

Current State talks with Dr. Johnson about the first-of-its kind study she's leading that seeks to reduce the suicide rate among people recently released from jail.