Self-Injurious Behaviour

A Review of the Literature and Implications for Corrections

About the Course:

Self-injurious behaviour (SIB), including non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), poses a serious challenge to the ability of correctional institutions to provide a safe environment for offenders, as well as for institutional staff. Examples of self-injurious behavior include, but are not limited to, cutting, head banging, hair pulling, and ligature use. This literature review discusses what is currently known about SIB/NSSI and provides recommendations for intervention strategies in correctional institutions, as well as suggestions for future research.


Correctional Service of Canada

Publication Date:

February 2010


Jenelle Power & Shelley L. Brown

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about self-injurious behavior in a correctional setting. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Define and describe self-injurious behaviour, including examples, terminology, classification, and estimated prevalence rates.

  2. Identify and describe factors and motivations associated with non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI).

  3. Describe currently available research on self-injurious behaviour (SIB), discuss current correctional approaches and policies regarding SIB, and identify implications for policy and research.

Exam Questions

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