Book Excerpt: “Suicide and its Impact on the Criminal Justice System”

Thank you Elizabeth and Francesca for this opportunity to be of service to our community. – Jeff

Excerpt: “The Logistics of Suicide,” by Jeff Grant

“It’s taken me years to unravel what happened on the night of my suicide attempt in July 2002.  Even now I’m sure that I don’t have all of it exactly right.  All I really remember about that evening is sitting down in my favorite chair in the den – it was a big oversized wicker chair that we purchased at the Ralph Lauren Country Store in Southampton about a decade earlier.  It was big, massive really, but horribly uncomfortable.  Now there’s an apt metaphor for my life if I ever heard one.  It played its part perfectly in the corner of our den – an all-glass room I had taken as payment from a former client of mine in the greenhouse business.  There had been a lot of days that I had to drive down to English Greenhouses’ headquarters to beg for a check, in the absolutely most depressing area of Camden, New Jersey.  In the end, I wound up with this greenhouse in the last days of their business before they declared Chapter 11.  That’s the way it always was in running a law firm – first I had to get the work, then I had to do the work, then I send the bill, then I had to lower the bill, then I had to take whatever I could get before the client went out of business.  No wonder I was depressed.

In this case, I guess the deal worked out pretty well, as our whole family basically lived in this glass den almost every day and night.  The very best days were snow days when the girls were little. We would all lie on the sofa together and watch the snow pile up over our heads, and guess when the snow would slide off the glass roof.  We pretty much raised our daughters in this room.  If there were anything I missed about our old house in Rye, I’d have to say that the greenhouse would be it.  I guess that’s what made it an ironic – and tragic – place to attempt suicide…”

“Suicide and Its Impact on the Criminal Justice System,” edited by our friends Elizabeth Kelley and Francesca Flood. American Bar Association Publishing, Sept. 2021. Chapter 13: “The Logistics of Suicide,” by Jeff Grant.

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From the book jacket: “For far too long, speaking about suicide was a taboo subject. Today, it is a topic we cannot avoid, and we are finally coming to terms with its pervasiveness across all races, ethnicities, religions and professions. Yet despite this growing awareness, we have yet to acknowledge and address the arc of suicide in the criminal justice system.

In this seminal work, Elizabeth Kelley and Francesca Flood enlist the insights of academic specialists, professionals within the criminal justice system, and individuals who have served time to bring voice to the subject of suicide with the criminal justice system.

This unique book provides insights that have yet to be broadly examined. Whether you are a defendant, judge, law enforcement officer, academic or mental health professional, this book provides much-needed information about a pervasive phenomenon- suicide in the criminal justice system.


Also, link here to White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, Podcast Ep. 15: A Brave Talk About Suicide, with Guests Bob Flanagan, Elizabeth Kelley, & Meredith Atwood.