Suicide In Prison

The scene was chaotic when I arrived on Wednesday night to help the only night nurse for a few hours. She was on the phone. Getting one phone call after another. While a bin of charts was next to her on the floor. Awaiting to be reviewed. Each case to be evaluated by her and cleared to be transferred to another facility in our county. Or be transferred to another prison.

The evening crew was tending to their needs. To finish their own charting. I saw different faces in suits, calling nurse after nurse. I heard…one prisoner committed suicide hours before I got there. He didn’t make it. And the nurses involved were being interviewed by those interrogators. To find out what transpired during that time they tried to save the young man’s life.

Suicide…is a problem we encounter at my workplace. Time to time… Knowing when and how to intervene is important. But despite the knowledge we, nurses, acquire from training and eventually talking to suicidal inmates or treating their injuries, still…It is hard to deal not knowing what truly goes in someone’s head. In someone’s heart’s core.

Depression indeed contributes…A feeling of emptiness. Of believing that they just exist. Because they have nothing left in life that makes it worth living for…

It is often hard to explain that suicide is not always the best answer to exit life’s chaos. As we start to monitor such individuals until they are seen by the mental health doctor. For their safety to themselves.
It’s a part we have to do…To dig deeper and try to sort out where such intentions are coming from. And in each encounter I had from the past, I often found out… it was not easy to throw the question but it was worth trying to lay it in the open:

“What does life expect from you?”

And how quickly one’s mind changed…In a matter of minutes during that short-lived interaction. To realize that what mattered was not their belief that life had nothing for their expectations. 

What mattered was “what life expects from them…” 

 Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-- why die before your time? – Ecclesiastes 7:17 (NIV)

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. – Psalm 34:17-20 (NIV)

for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." – Romans 10:13 (NIV)


  1. That would be difficult to enter the workplace and just discovered a suicide. Such darkness. Love your meaningful scriptures. Right on.


  2. Oh how my heart breaks at this incident. To think that man had no hope. Bless you for all your do for your fellow persons, dear sister. Blessings Jo

  3. Sad that the inmate committed suicide. Grateful that it was before you came on and not on your shift. Also grateful for the light that you bring to that dark place.

  4. How sad! And yet those without Christ may see no other way out.

  5. Sad. My older brother committed suicide. did not walk in on it, but the aftermath is devestating. Hugs.

  6. My heart aches for those who can see no hope and chose to die as relief to the pain. :(


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~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].