According to a new study, in the last two decades, the number of inmates who took their own lives in state and federal prisons increased by 83%, whereas in local prisoners, the figure rose 13%.
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Since 2000, according to U.S. Justice Department figures, over 10,000 inmates have committed suicide, the vast majority taking place in California (615), Texas (448), and Florida (333).
Moreover, the vast majority of inmates at the time of suicide had not even been convicted of a crime, and 44% of those who committed suicide did so within the first week of their imprisonment.
Nia Holston, an attorney at the Abolitionist Law Center, points out that conditions in U.S. prisons cause mental problems for prisoners. Due to a lack of mental health services available in large U.S. cities, state and federal prisons are used to house those with pre-existing conditions.