New study looks at California prison guards' suicide rate

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Suicides are distressingly common among California prison employees.

Posted: Jan. 9, 2018 10:20 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Suicides are distressingly common among California prison employees.

The guards' union counts 96 confirmed or suspected suicides among current and retired members between 1999 and 2015.

The number peaked at 13 in 2012 - a rate more than four times that of the general population.

Now, a first-in-the-nation study coordinated among the union, corrections officials and University of California, Berkeley researchers is trying to figure out why and what to do about it.

About 10 percent of prison guards say they have considered or attempted suicide, a rate nearly three times that of the general U.S. population. The data was provided to The Associated Press from a survey of California correctional and parole officers.

Half of correctional officers expressed at least one symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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