2016-131 Audit Scope and Objectives

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation— Suicide Prevention Policies

The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's (Corrections) policies, procedures and practices related to suicide prevention and reduction, and will include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
  2. Evaluate Corrections' policies and procedures for inmate suicide prevention and response, including those related to instances when an inmate exhibits suicidal behavior. Determine whether such policies and procedures are implemented consistently throughout California's state prisons.
  3. For the most recent three year period, compare the suicide and attempted suicide rates for male and female inmates in all state prisons.
  4. Identify areas where Corrections can improve its mental health services, particularly with respect to the safety and care for inmates needing mental health treatment.
  5. In reviewing the California Institution for Women (CIW) do the following:
    1. Evaluate whether CIW appropriately implemented Corrections' suicide prevention policies.
    2. Identify and analyze CIW's policies and procedures in the event of a suicide, including any ensuing investigation and communication with the deceased inmate's family during and after such investigation.
    3. To the extent possible, identify the causes or factors contributing to the higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts at CIW, including any systemic problems or failures.
    4. Identify and analyze CIW's policies and practices in the event that an inmate displays suicidal behavior. Evaluate CIW's ability to appropriately house and treat inmates identified as suicidal and determine whether CIW allows access to inmate program activities or movements such as yard time.
    5. Evaluate the adequacy of the mental health and suicide prevention training for CIW staff.
  6. Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.

California State Auditor's Office