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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221714 Find in a Library
Title: Violence in Prisons, Revisited
Journal: Journal of Offender Rehabilitation  Volume:45  Issue:3/4  Dated:2007  Pages:1-28
Author(s): Hans Toch; Terry A. Kupers
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 28
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study analyzed case studies to present a review of clinical aspects of prison violence.
Abstract: Findings indicate that a disproportionate amount of violence is related to the mental health problems of prisoners; prison administrators routinely relegate disturbed disruptive inmates to disciplinary or administrative confinement settings that exacerbate their problem behavior. Motives and dispositions of even-patterned offenders can change over time; with recurrent violent behavior, patterned information which covers consistencies of perspective and motive across a person’s violent incidents must be utilized. Temporal patterns call attention to the effects of environmental changes that contribute to violence or ameliorate pressures to which the person reacts. The advent of long-term isolated confinement in super maximum security units reveals a recognizable pattern: the isolated prisoner continues to deteriorate because the ongoing stress of near-total isolation and idleness perpetuates destructive patterns of behavior that might otherwise diminish with maturation. A prisoner may discontinue violent reactions when he is segregated, whereas others become angrier and more prone to violence the longer they remain in isolated confinement. Another prisoner who involves himself in violence in an age-homogeneous prison for younger inmates may reduce his involvements in a prison that contains an older population, thereby revealing patterns of peer temptations and pressures to which the prisoner has reacted. Young prisoners involved in violence frequently improve their deportment over the course of their prison terms. Such changes, at one time regarded as anticipatory reactions to release from prison, are attributable to effects of maturation and adaptation to the prison. Chronologies often point to time-bound internal states, such as tensions, fear, and anxieties. Disturbed prisoners frequently act out at entry into the prison system or when they face impending release, transitions that typically mobilize subsurface anxieties. Time-bound reductions of aggressive behavior can also provide information on the therapeutic impact of serendipitous experiences which can only systematically mobilize once they are identified. References
Main Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Institutional violence; Mentally ill inmates
Index Term(s): Acting out behavior; Behavior patterns; Behavioral science research; Group behavior; Individual behavior; Older inmates; Risk taking behavior
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