Ibadan Journal of the Social Sciences
Volume 17, No. 1, 2019
DOI: 10.36108/ijss/9102.71.0140

Category of Inmates, Duration of Incarceration and Depression as Determinants of Suicidal Ideation among Prison Inmates in Ibadan, Nigeria
Peter O. Olapegba1, B. O. Attah2 and Emmanuel E. Uye3

1,2,3,Department of Psychology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Suicidal ideation is the thought of one taking one’s life or thinking about suicide without actually making plans to do so. It is currently one of the major problems in the society. Statistics have shown that the rate of suicide has been on the increase especially among prison inmates worldwide. In this study, therefore, the influence of category of inmates, duration of incarceration and suicidal ideation among prisons in Ibadan, Nigeria was examined. Two hundred and ninety-seven inmates (290 males and 7 females) in Agodi prison in Ibadan were accidentally sampled. A structured questionnaire consisting of socio-demographic, depression (α= 0.81) and suicidal ideation scales (α= 0.86) was used for data collection. Data was analysed using independent t-test and analysis of variance at p= 0.05. Results show that category of inmates had a significant influence on suicidal ideation [t(295) = 4.846, p <0.05]. The convicted inmates scored higher on suicidal ideation (M =29.00) than those awaiting trial (M = 23.45). Also, depression had a significant influence on suicidal ideation [t(295) = 2.36; p <0.05]. Inmates who are depressed scored higher on suicidal ideation (M = 25.98) than inmates who are low on depression (M = 22.93). However, duration of incarceration in prison had no significant influence on suicidal ideation among the inmates sampled. The study shows that rather than the duration of incarceration in prison, category of inmates and depression were the most influential factors that influence suicidal ideation among the inmates in Agodi prison in Ibadan, Nigeria. Policy implications are proffered.

Keywords: Category of inmates, duration of incarceration, depression, suicidal ideation, Ibadan, Nigeria


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