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Interpersonal inmate violence in French prisons: results of the TARTARE survey
  1. A Miras*,
  2. G Encrenaz,
  3. B Contrand,
  4. S Pujos,
  5. C Galera,
  6. G Michel,
  7. E Lagarde
  1. Correspondence INSERM Unit 897, Equipe “Prevention et prise en charge des traumatismes”, Esplanade Jacques Latrille 146, rue Leo Saignat 33076, France

Abstract

Objectives To describe physical inmate violence in prisons and to determine factors associated with it (being victim and being perpetrator).

Methods All Inmates of a prison for prisoners awaiting trial (Bordeaux, France) were eligible for this cross-sectional study. 375 inmates have been face-to-face interviewed by an experienced psychologist. Socio-demographic data, imprisonment conditions, health status and healthcare utilisation, mental health, impulsivity, aggressiveness, interpersonal violence (victim and perpetrator status) and suicidal behaviours were documented.

Results Of them, 24 % were victim of physical violence at least once a month and 10% perpetrated physical violence at least once a month. Being victim of physical violence was associated with perpetrating it (adjusted OR=2.4), suffering from anxiety or depression (adjusted OR=4.0), having attempted suicide during imprisonment (adjusted OR=5.3), being widow, divorced or separated (adjusted OR=3.4), suffering from sleep disturbance (adjusted OR=2.1) and practicing indoor sports (adjusted OR=1.9). Those who had two friends or more in the prison were less likely to be victim of physical violence (adjusted OR=0.5). Perpetrating physical violence was associated with using drugs (adjusted OR=4.4), practicing indoor sports (adjusted OR=2.6), being between 18 and 25 year old (adjusted OR=4.0) and being incarcerated for more than 24 months.

Discussion These results could help to improve violence screening in prisons. However, all data were self-reported but have been improved using data recorded by the prison administration when they were available.

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