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NCJ Number: 229102 Find in a Library
Title: Self-Control, Prison Victimization, and Prison Infractions
Journal: Criminal Justice Review  Volume:34  Issue:4  Dated:December 2009  Pages:553-568
Author(s): Kent R. Kerley; Andy Hochstetler; Heith Copes
Date Published: December 2009
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on an examination of 208 recently paroled inmates from a Midwestern State, this study used structural equation models to test the impact of low self-control on prison victimization and prison infractions.
Abstract: This study found that two dimensions of self-control were significant predictors of either prison infraction or prison victimization. First, risk-taking as a feature of low self-control was a strong predictor of prison victimization. This is consistent with Gottfredson and Hirschi's (1999) assertion that individuals who are risk takers will gravitate toward perilous activities without much thought of taking appropriate precautions; for example, an inmate who engages in high risk-taking may be more likely to provoke and antagonize other inmates without considering the likelihood of their retaliation against him. Second, an offender who is quick to anger, a feature of low self-control, may react violently to the restrictions, frustrations, and confrontations characteristic of prison life. Inmates with higher levels of temper are significantly more likely than other inmates to engage in prison infractions, but not to be victimized. This study thus indicates that low self-control has multiple dimensions, with each leading to distinctive behaviors and consequences. Study data were collected between September and December of 2001. The 208 participants were male residents of work-release facilities in a Midwestern State. All had been paroled from State prison for less than 6 months. A questionnaire was administered to the men in groups of less than 20 in a classroom setting. The questionnaire contained three measures of prison victimization and three measures of prison infractions that referred to their last year of imprisonment. Measures of self-control were derived from the well-known scale developed by Grasmick, Tittle, Bursik, and Arneklev (1993). Key demographic variables were controlled. 2 tables, 1 figure, 5 notes, and 32 references
Main Term(s): Corrections research
Index Term(s): Aggression; Inmate misconduct; Inmate personal security; Victimization risk
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