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NCJ Number: 203955 Find in a Library
Title: Quality of Life as Perceived by Sex Offenders on Early Release in a Halfway House: Implications for Treatment
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:38  Issue:2  Dated:2003  Pages:77-93
Author(s): D. J. Williams
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined quality-of-life perceptions of a sample of sex offenders and discusses the implications of the findings for the therapeutic process.
Abstract: From an offender rehabilitation perspective, quality of life (QOL) is closely connected to the "most important things" in life, such as relationships with family and loved ones, adequate money, job satisfaction, health, education, and freedom. A criminal lifestyle tends to limit progression in these areas, thus restricting personal QOL. Due to the psychological defense mechanisms and thinking errors associated with criminal behavior, many offenders may not consider QOL issues. The rationale for QOL promotion within offender rehabilitation is based primarily in professional ethics and values, which overlap with common themes of restorative justice, such as reparation, forgiveness, inclusion, healing, and wellness. The purposes of the current study were to learn about how offenders view QOL, how they rate their QOL within the correctional setting, and how these findings may be used to improve rehabilitation efforts. Participants were 23 sex offenders who were released from jail or prison to attend treatment at a community correctional center. As part of the study, the Quality of Life Questionnaire (Greenley, Greenberg, and Brown, 1997) was administered to help determine how offenders rated their QOL. Questions focused on what the offenders wanted from life, the kind of person they wanted to be, and what they wanted to achieve in their lifetime. The findings suggest that the offenders' perceptions of QOL are related primarily to freedom, interpersonal relationships (primarily with family), and positive emotions. Leisure opportunities, job/career success, health, and education were also reported as being important. Participants rated personal QOL better in a community correctional center than in jail or prison; however, a large majority were apparently apathetic to or dissatisfied with their current QOL. Further, they doubted that their QOL could improve anytime soon. Those practitioners involved in offender rehabilitation could help offenders focus on doing a few "small things" that lead to initial QOL improvements, or by working to improve QOL in only one particular area. By building an alliance based on common QOL values, practitioners may help offenders engage in therapy more quickly, promote behaviors consistent with a healthy lifestyle, and achieve success in offender rehabilitation. 30 references and 6 tables
Main Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult)
Index Term(s): Attitude change; Attitude measurement; Halfway houses; Offender attitudes; Sex offender treatment; Sex offenders; Treatment techniques
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