In prison, suicide is the third leading cause of death among inmates, behind AIDS and natural causes, with a death rate of 16.7 per 100,000 inmates each year. While suicide is generally not a good answer to one's problems, when facing life inprisonment without the possibility of parole, it can become a much better decision. New mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws have likely been a factor in a recent increase in the incidence of prison suicide.

Hanging yourself with (insert garment here):
Pain Level: Low to average, depending on what you have to use
Availability: Very good, if not previously suspected
Difficulty: Fairly easy

Popularized by Ted Kazcynski, self hanging by garments actually accounts for over 90% of all prison suicides. The key to a successful self-hanging is getting put in a single cell without being suspected of depression or suicidal tendencies. If this happens, one will likely have their clothing confiscated and be forced to wear a paper gown. While any sturdy article of clothing can be used, underwear is generally not the best choice- instead, one should opt for shoelaces or even better, a belt. If one is being held in Tennessee, they likely will be successful, based on Heflin vs. Stewart County(1992). In this case, the Sheriff involved actually delayed CPR on Heflin to take pictures of his body while it was hanging.

Poisoning yourself with alcohol or drugs:
Pain Level: Generally, better than if you weren't trying to kill yourself, unless you're drinking some really hard stuff
Availability: Average, unless you know how to distill liquor-then very good
Difficulty: Very easy to do, but very hard to actually kill yourself

While few inmates have actually managed to kill themselves by overdosing on drugs, nearly a majority are under the influence when they kill themselves through other means. While real-life prison is not exactly like Oz, drugs certainly are available, and are a viable method for the well-connected.

Pissing off Big Bubba:
Pain Level: Very high, but probably less than that of not pissing off Big Bubba
Availability: Good, unless you are Big Bubba
Difficulty: Ridiculously easy

While they have been controlled somewhat in recent years, beatings are still a major cause of death in American prisons. Usage of alcohol and/or drugs strongly recommended if one chooses this method. Generally less painful if beating is done by the guards instead of a fellow inmate, since they can use weapons such as a nightstick.

source:1995 study on prison behavor by the National Institute of Corrections

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