CIU Prison Initiative Credited for Suicide Prevention

Some CIU Prison Initiative graduates become mental health companions.
September 10, 2019

The week of Sept. 8 is Suicide Prevention Week and a Columbia International University program that serves behind the walls of the South Carolina Department of Corrections is credited for preventing suicide among inmates.

The CIU Prison Initiative graduates about a dozen student-inmates each year with an accredited Associate of Arts degree they earn while studying in cohorts at the Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia. It’s located just across the Broad River from CIU’s main campus. The graduates become chaplain’s assistants in the South Carolina prison system.

Some of the Prison Initiative alumni are trained as mental health companions and look after other inmates who are on suicide watch. Their work is having a very positive impact. That caught the attention of WIS-TV in Columbia. See Carolina Hecker’s report, It’s national suicide awareness week. These inmates are looking out for those who feel hopeless.”

A total of 157 CIU Prison Initiative alumni serve in over 20 institutions around the state.

Learn more about the CIU Prison Initiative and how you can be involved.

Columbia International University consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report. Excitement is growing on campus with CIU’s first baseball program in development and online with CIU’s new Ph.D. in Organizational LeadershipRequest information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.