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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193203 Find in a Library
Title: Response of Psychiatrically Impaired Inmates to Activity Therapy
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:33  Issue:3  Dated:2001  Pages:65-73
Author(s): James Siberski
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 9
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A study at a maximum-security prison in rural Pennsylvania examined the perceptions of psychiatrically impaired inmates regarding several types of activity therapy programs.
Abstract: Trained activity therapists used activities and activity groups to prepare inmates with psychiatric issues and problems for more advanced therapy, to support ongoing therapy, and to provide successful experiences for inmates to add or develop old or new basic abilities. The inmates who participated in the study were from a special-needs unit. Thirteen inmates attended 3-4 sessions monthly for 6-8 months, 16 inmates participated for 8-16 months, and 17 inmates participated for 16-24 months. They rated the following programs, techniques, and approaches: games, current events, remotivation, mental health groups, one on one, music, stress management, general discussion, puzzle and word games, coping skills, movies, paper exercises, groups that make a person think, and educational groups. They rated the activities according to whether they enjoyed them, benefited from them, or regarded them as helping prepare for the future. Results revealed that all three groups enjoyed movies, current events, and music groups, although they rated them low for benefit and preparing for the future. Participants enjoyed and benefited from groups that allowed for expression of limited information of self, including remotivation, educational groups, and groups that encouraged them to think. They also regarded these groups as preparing them for the future to varying degrees. They did not enjoy groups that required self-disclosure, information processing, problem solving, risk taking, and trusting other group members. They regarded some groups (stress management, coping skills, advanced remotivation, and mental health groups) as preparing for the future. Findings indicated that the activity program made a positive contribution to the overall therapy program, that consistency of programming was vital, and that the results offered guidance to other therapists attempting similar programming. Tables and 9 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Inmate attitudes; Inmate Education Assistance Programs; Inmate social programs; Life skills training; Mentally ill inmates; Offender mental health services; Pennsylvania; Rehabilitation; Social skills training; Treatment effectiveness; Treatment techniques
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