Credits to
Pietro Buffa

The suicide of Penitentiary Police employees

An attempt to break away from fumbling in the fog of human suffering – update at 31 July 2019.

Issue 7-8/2019

Notes for the reader.

Due to an error observed in the already published Article, dated 03 July 2019, here proposed is a new version of the textamended and revised by the Author.

The correction is in particular reference to the content of the fifth paragraph, which concerns the comparison between the incidence of the phenomenon in the sample examined and that found in the general population.

In the original version of the paragraph, the incidence was related to 10,000 individuals, while the general incidence referred to 100,000 inhabitants. This obviously led to an incorrect result.


To read the article, in the this revised and corrected version, click on “open file”.

To read the previous version, published on 3 July 2019, clicca qui.


AbstractThe  Italian prison is often referred to its critical events registred. Between these, the staff suicide, particularly of penitentiary police, takes attention because, in opinion of a lot commentators, proves direct and preponderant impact of professional stress of this workers. The data and official versions absence, the failing teorical and metodological criterion of published data, the underlying interests, direct to an inaccurate interpretation, in our opinion, not sharp and risky misleading. This study, thanks to forty suicide events too, tries to approach some central issues of this debate, for example: the incidence of phenomenon, the subjects profile, dynamics of facts and next circumstances.The exam leads to different conclusions respect to the common sense. At the end we promuove some reflections for possible preventive actions.

This article was submitted anonymously for evaluation by two experts, with a positive outcome.


SUMMARY: 1. The age-old question of the relationship between scientific rigour and fabrication. – 2. The controversial issue of the relationship between profession and suicide. – 3. Extent of the phenomenon. – 4. The approach taken. – 5. The incidence of the phenomenon within the Police Force compared to the general population. – 6. The profile of suicide. – 7. Committing suicide. – 8. The means of committing suicide. – 9. The reasons for committing suicide. – 10. Theories on suicide in the police force. – 11. Is it possible to prevent the risk of suicide? -12. Conclusion.


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