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A Study of the Use and Interpretation of Standardized Suicide Risk Assessment: Measures within a Psychiatrically Hospitalized Correctional Population


  • The information contained in this report reflects the author's views, and not necessarily the views of the California Department of State Hospitals or the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Address correspondence to Robert Horon, PhD, Department of State Hospitals-Vacaville, 1600 California Dr., P.O. Box 2297, Vacaville, CA 95696; E-mail:


The reliability, validity, and utility of the Adult Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (ASIQ), Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS), and Reasons for Attempting Suicide Questionnaire (RASQ) with correctional mental health populations was evaluated. Evidence was found indicating good to excellent reliability for all measures. Each of the measures significantly differentiated multiple attempters from single attempters and nonattempters, providing evidence of convergent and divergent validity. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed strong associations between multiple attempts and the ASIQ, BSS, and RASQ, but not the BHS. Implications for suicide risk assessment processes in correctional settings are discussed.