Young offenders at a crossroads: A study of their suicide risk



Laurier C, *Ducharme AM, *St-Pierre L, Sarmiento J. (2018). Young offenders at a crossroads: A study of their suicide risk. Criminologie. 51(2): 288-313.


The high level of antisocial behavior among young offenders in general and those associated with street gangs in particular, which accounts for their involvement with the justice system, has led to a lack of attention to their victimization and its psychological aftereffects. In this article, 212 young offenders in the care of youth services or correctional services were assessed using quantitative questionnaires and a semi-structured qualitative interview. The questionnaire was used to identify the variables most involved in suicide risk, assessed by two tools (MAYSI-2 and MINI). The qualitative interviews highlighted that young offenders in care find themselves at a crossroads where their desire to leave the delinquent life style confronts the feeling that their extremely restricted future possibilities will make this impossible. The discussion combines the results of the quantitative and qualitative parts, using an abductive approach to propose an integrated understanding of this phenomena. Finally, some suggestions for intervention are offered.