Suicide is one of the leading causes of inmate death in both prisons and jails. In 2013, for every 100,000 prisoners, 46 inmates imprisoned in jails and 15 in prisons had committed suicide. This continued a budding trend of increased suicide rates among prisoners in jails since 2009’s staggering jump from about 30 to over 40 deaths. Small jails in fact have a suicide rate six times higher than some of the nation’s largest jails. But, why does this occur?
Research suggests that the largest amount of jail suicides occur in first-time offenders. This is attributed to the shock-factor of an incarceration, or “shock of confinement.” The life the inmate had led up until that point, likely with family, a home, the outdoors, and some modicum of normality is abruptly stripped away, and the very framework of an existence is thrown on its axis. This contrasts with convicted felon suicides, which occurs at a rate seven times less.
Commonly, the issue has been poor pre-screening and not recognizing warning symptoms, followed by a lack of mental healthcare. This is being combated by the courts, where many judges are ruling in favor of required programs that sufficiently identify, evaluate, and take steps to deter suicidal tendencies to prevent a fatal result. Researchers point out a need for internal improvement, as external oversight is a rare occurrence.
In golf, advantages are not reliant solely on skill. Equipment plays a large role in determining the winners and losers, and gaining can be easy, though potentially expensive. The Grooves Rule, though, aims to curb that issue in the amateur leagues. The Grooves Rule applies to the type of grooves cut into a club, and highlights the differences specifically between U-Groove and V-Groove clubs. What the rule means is that clubs manufactured and being used in tournament play must conform to new industry standards established in 2010.
Before the Rule was implemented in 2010, U-Groove clubs were rampant in tournament play by high-caliber competitors. U-Groove clubs have a specific edge over the more common V-Groove sibling – the clubs put a significant amount of spin on the ball. Where this proved particularly beneficial was in getting a ball out of the rough, adding a decent amount of ease to something meant to act as penalty. The Grooves Rule reverts back to V-Groove clubs, and is not limited to wedges. The grooves are smaller, duller, and spaced closer together, decreasing the spin produced drastically. All clubs produced following 2010 must be made in accordance with this regulation.
In 2014, amateur tournaments began adopting the Grooves rule. This includes all games conducted by the USGA and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. The rule will not see broad effect and implementation to the entire sport until after 2020, when the results of the rule will be evaluated. Until then, casual play will be a self-policing matter.