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The plights of prison inmates cannot be over emphasized and it has been one of much debate characterized with agitations by the civil liberties group and other human rights organizations owing to the increase in suicidal ideation rates globally, which have prompted unsuccessful attempt by the government and its institutions to correct this problem with little or no success until date. This study examined personality characteristics as predictors of suicidal ideation among a group of selected prison inmates in Anambra State. A cross-sectional survey design was adopted in the study. Accidental sampling technique was used to select two hundred and ninety-six (296) inmates from The Nigerian Prisons Service, Headquarters Amawbia, Akwa, and the Nigerian Prison in Amawbia and Onitsha. The Big-Five Inventory (BFI) and the Suicide Ideation Scale (SIS), were used to gather necessary information for the study with Cronbach’s Alpha of .91 and .89 respectively.Three hypotheses were formulated and tested using Hierarchical Regression Analysis. The results showed that demographic variables gender, (β = -.03.), age (β = .14) and education (β = -.07.) were not significant predictors of suicidal ideation. The Big Five personality dimensions indicated that only openness inversely predicted of suicidal ideation (β = -.13). However, extraversion (β = .09.), neuroticism (β = .04.), conscientiousness (β = -.05.), and agreeableness (β = -.03.) did not predict suicidal ideation. Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended that Nigerian Prison Service should engage inmates into therapeutic programmes and clinical interventions that increase self-awareness and psycho-emotional development of personality to reduce ideation towards suicide.
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