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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63386 Find in a Library
Title: BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION IN PRISONS
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:19  Issue:4  Dated:SPECIAL ISSUE (OCTOBER 1979)  Pages:400-415
Author(s): G LAYCOCK
Corporate Author: Stevens and Sons
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Stevens and Sons
London, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION PROGRAMS IN PRISONS ARE REVIEWED, INCLUDING INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP TREATMENT FOR SOCIAL SKILLS, THERAPY FOR RELAXATION AND SEXUAL CONFORMITY, AND POSSIBILITIES FOR REGIME DESIGN.
Abstract: A SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM OF AVERSION THERAPY USING MILD ELECTRIC SHOCK TO DISCOURAGE DEVIANT SEXUAL PREFERENCES OF 10 CONSENTING PRISONERS IS DESCRIBED. ANOTHER PROGRAM, WHERE TREATMENT NEEDS WERE ASSESSED IN TERMS OF MODIFICATION OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION, IMPROVEMENT OF SOCIAL SKILLS, AND REMOVAL OF ANXIETY TO TARGET BEHAVIOR IS DESCRIBED, AND INITIAL UNPUBLISHED RESULTS REPORTED. AN ETHICAL OBJECTION TO THE TREATMENT OF SEX OFFENDERS IN PRISONS IS THAT THEY MAY FEEL PRESSURED INTO ACCEPTING UNPLEASANT TREATMENT IN THE HOPE OF OBTAINING EARLIER RELEASE. INDIVIDUAL RELAXATION TRAINING IS USED IN PRISONS TO ALLEVIATE INMATES' FRUSTRATIONS, RESTLESSNESS, AND AGGRESSION. ETHICAL PROBLEMS AGAIN ARISE, SINCE IT IS ARGUABLE WHETHER PSYCHOLOGISTS SHOULD HELP PRISONERS COPE WITH THE MANIFESTLY UNACCEPTABLE ENVIRONMENT OF THE INSTITUTION. THE MOST COMMON FORM OF BEHAVIORAL TREATMENT INVOLVING GROUPS OF PRISONERS IS SOCIAL SKILLS TRAINING, INVOLVING ROLEPLAYING AND FEEDBACK. THE PROGRAM DESCRIBED REPORTED FAVORABLE RESULTS FROM ITS 9 WEEKLY TRAINING SESSIONS IN SKILLS SUCH AS NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION AND INITIATING FRIENDSHIPS. IN ADDITION, A NOVEL APPROACH TO THE TREATMENT OF GAMBLERS IS DESCRIBED, WHICH UTILIZED A MOCK BETTING SHOP, MILD ELECTRIC SHOCKS FOR GAMBLING, AND REWARDS FOR ABSTENTION. HOWEVER, THIS PROJECT EXPERIENCED FOLLOW-UP DIFFICULTIES AFTER DISCHARGE OF THE PRISONERS. REGIME DESIGN IS CONSIDERED HISTORICALLY, EMPHASIZING THE LIMITATIONS OF OLDER PRISON ARCHITECTURE. TOKEN ECONOMY PRACTICES ARE REVIEWED, CITING MANY CRITICISMS OF THE SYSTEM, EMPHASIZING STAFF DEFICIENCIES, AND ITS RELIANCE ON RULE-GOVERNED BEHAVIOR INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE NATURALLY OCCURRING CONTINGENCY-SHAPED BEHAVIOR WITHIN THE INSTITUTION. SUGGESTIONS ARE MADE FOR BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION TECHNIQUES IN REGIME DESIGN TO EXPAND THE CONCEPT OF HUMANE CONTAINMENT. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Deviance; Inmate attitudes; Inmate staff relations; Motivation; Psychiatric services; Socialization; Token economies
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63386

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