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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220346 Find in a Library
Title: Operationalizing Risk: The Influence of Measurement Choice on the Prevalence and Correlates of Prison Violence Among Incarcerated Murderers
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:35  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2007  Pages:546-555
Author(s): Jon R. Sorensen; Mark D. Cunningham
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the rates and correlates of aggressive prison misconduct among a large cohort (N=1,659) of convicted murderers who were admitted to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice between February 2001 and November 2003.
Abstract: Findings suggest that the choice of measure used when defining concepts as the operations that will measure the concept through specific observations of prison violence is crucial in determining baselines, but may have a more limited effect on identifying correlates and predicting outcomes. Results showed that the prevalence and frequency of reported violence in prison were influenced by the operational definition employed. Specific characteristics of the perpetrators including younger age, more serious murder conviction, and longer sentence were associated with a higher incidence of prison assaults. Female convicted murderers were not statistically different in their prevalence rates of violent rule infractions regardless of the operational definition employed. Black inmates tended to commit more violent rule infractions than White or Hispanic inmates. Age was also consistently and inversely related to prison violence; decreasing levels of violence occurred with each incremental increase in age. Findings concerning criminal record were mixed. Conviction offense and length of sentence were related to the outcome measure; those convicted of higher degrees of homicide and sentenced to longer terms of incarceration were more often involved in violent prison misconduct. Disciplinary records of 1,659 convicted murderers who had been admitted to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice between February 2001 and November 2003 were reviewed. Limitations of the study are detailed. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Victimization in prisons; Violent inmates
Index Term(s): Inmate attitudes; Inmate misconduct; Inmate personal security; Inmate victims; Long-term imprisonment; Prison population prediction; Texas; Violence prediction
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