The research examined inmates' subjective perceptions of the reasons for suicide attempts and the psychological, sociological and criminological factors associated with such attempts. The sample comprised 60 male inmates who had made a recent suicide attempt. The methods of examination were semi-structured interviews with the inmates and analysis of their psychological and criminological files. The results showed that the examined group was not totally homogeneous. Methods of suicidal attempts divided the sample into two groups: those who had made a non-life-threatening (NLT) suicide attempt (58%) and those who made a life-threatening (LT) attempt (42%). Several factors significantly differentiated NLT and LT groups. Four of these factors were combined in regression models to clarify the relationships between the variables and to predict, in retrospect, whether an inmate had made a NLT or LT suicide attempt. The results are discussed in relation to previous findings on suicidology and to practical implications in correctional settings.