this study has two mainly purposes: (1) analyze the incidence of suicide ideation and psychological distress in 66 remanded prisoners in a central prison of portugal in two moments, during the first week of imprisonment and after six months, and, in this same period of time; (2) explore the degree of emotional distress and type of psychological distress in two groups, prisoners with suicidal ideation (cis) and without suicidal ideation (sis). suicide ideation was measured with the suicidal ideation questionnaire and psychological distress with the brief symptom inventory. our results show that the incidence of suicidal ideation is mainly the same through the first six months of imprisonment, while the incidence of psychological distress significantly decreases in the same period of time. dividing our sample in two groups, we can see that compared with the sis group, the cis group has a highly significantly level of psychological distress, particularly depressive, anxious, psychotic and hostile distress and, while the cis group mainly maintain the same levels of psychological distress through the first six months of imprisonment, the sis group shows a highly reduction in the levels of psychological distress. in conclusion, suicidal ideation is highly associated with psychological distress, namely depressive, anxious, psychotic and hostile distress. in prisoners with suicidal ideation, psychological distress presents itself like a dispositional character, keeping generally constant during imprisonment, while in prisoners without suicidal ideation presents itself like reactive character, diminishing after six months of imprisonment.