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NCJ Number: 203809 Find in a Library
Title: Remorse and Neutralization Among Violent Male Offenders
Journal: Justice Quarterly  Volume:20  Issue:4  Dated:December 2003  Pages:801-825
Author(s): Lois Presser
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 25
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on interviews with 27 men who committed serious violent crimes, this study examined their attitudes toward victims, responsibility, and remorse.
Abstract: For the most part, the interviews were unstructured. Although the interviews focused primarily on isolated incidents of violence, the men also discussed general behavioral patterns. The analysis of the interviews focused on the identification of patterns in how the men spoke about their victims, including the acknowledgment of responsibility and the expression of remorse. The men excused or justified their violent actions through various rationalizations. Prevalent beliefs were that victims were to blame for harms that resulted from provoking the offender; the victims were themselves offenders or deserving of harm; harm to a victim that was not premeditated or intended carried no blame; when an offender has been legally sanctioned for an offense, this negates any harms that were caused; and the harms caused by legal sanctions or other harms to the offender stemming from the crime negate any harms the offender caused. Based on these findings, the author recommends that correctional treatment focus on the various rationalizations used by offenders to neutralize their sense of remorse or responsibility for the harms they have caused. Offenders must be encouraged to deconstruct their ideas about crime and victims as a prelude to opposing these ideas. 60 references
Main Term(s): Attitudes toward victims
Index Term(s): Antisocial attitudes; Treatment techniques; Violent crimes; Violent men; Violent offenders
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