Correctional Service Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Women Offender Programs and Issues

Warning This Web page has been archived on the Web.

Report on Self-Injurious Behaviour in the Kingston Prison for Women


A study was conducted at the Kingston Prison for Women to guide the development of a therapeutic programme for women who self-injure. 44 prisoners and 41 security staff personnel were interviewed about three programme goals: injury response, injury reduction and suicide identification. Results indicate that self-injury may best be reduced by considering it a sign of emotional distress rather than a security issue, and by shifting the responsibility for its reduction from security to counselling personnel. Results also indicate that self-injuring prisoners often seek emotional support from their peers, and that this support should be acknowledged and legitimized. It was recommended that a programme be developed to train prisoners as peer counsellors. This programme is designed to provide on-going support and skill development for these prisoner counsellors.