The reformulated learned helplessness model proposes that people who tend to make internal, stable, and global attributions in response to uncontrollable aversive events are more likely to develop depression. The present study sought to investigate the nature of the relationship between attributional style and depression in a male prison sample. One hundred and one adult male prisoners from four medium security prisons in Ireland completed the Attributional Style Questionnaire and measures of depression (BDI-II) and anxiety (BAI). Severity of self-reported depressive symptoms in the present sample was comparable to other prison and clinical samples, but higher than community samples. Participants were more severely affected by depressive symptoms than anxiety. The original attributional dimensions (i.e. internal, stable, and global) predicted a significant amount of variance in depression, but the model was not significant after controlling for anxiety. A subsequent regression model, comprising attributional dimensions for both negative events and positive events including a measure of ‘uncontrollability’, accounted for 35% of the variance in depression and the model retained significance while controlling for anxiety. An attributional model of depression may be relevant to the prison population and could provide a valid insight into the development and treatment of depressive symptoms in prisoners. The findings are interpreted in relation to previous research and implications for theory, clinical practice, and rehabilitation are discussed.
Past studies have identified poor rates of detection of mental illness among inmates. Consequently, mental health screening is a common feature to various correctional mental health strategies and best practice guidelines. However, there is little guidance to support the selection of an appropriate tool. This systematic review compared the sensitivity and specificity of mental health screening tools among adult jail or prison populations.
The number of older adults in the criminal justice system is rapidly increasing. While this population is thought to experience an early onset of aging-related health conditions (“accelerated aging”), studies have not directly compared rates of geriatric conditions in this population to those found in the general population. The aims of this study were to compare the burden of geriatric conditions among older adults in jail to rates found in an age-matched nationally representative sample of community dwelling older adults.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Published over 6 years ago
The rate of erroneous conviction of innocent criminal defendants is often described as not merely unknown but unknowable. There is no systematic method to determine the accuracy of a criminal conviction; if there were, these errors would not occur in the first place. As a result, very few false convictions are ever discovered, and those that are discovered are not representative of the group as a whole. In the United States, however, a high proportion of false convictions that do come to light and produce exonerations are concentrated among the tiny minority of cases in which defendants are sentenced to death. This makes it possible to use data on death row exonerations to estimate the overall rate of false conviction among death sentences. The high rate of exoneration among death-sentenced defendants appears to be driven by the threat of execution, but most death-sentenced defendants are removed from death row and resentenced to life imprisonment, after which the likelihood of exoneration drops sharply. We use survival analysis to model this effect, and estimate that if all death-sentenced defendants remained under sentence of death indefinitely, at least 4.1% would be exonerated. We conclude that this is a conservative estimate of the proportion of false conviction among death sentences in the United States.
Methadone is an effective treatment for opioid dependence. When people who are receiving methadone maintenance treatment for opioid dependence are incarcerated in prison or jail, most US correctional facilities discontinue their methadone treatment, either gradually, or more often, abruptly. This discontinuation can cause uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal and renders prisoners susceptible to relapse and overdose on release. We aimed to study the effect of forced withdrawal from methadone upon incarceration on individuals' risk behaviours and engagement with post-release treatment programmes.
There is emerging evidence that the supplementation of omega-3 contributes to a decrease in aggressive behaviour in prison populations. A challenge of such research is achieving statistical power against effect sizes which may be affected by the baseline omega-3 index. There are no published data on the blood omega-3 index with studies of this kind to assess the variability of the blood omega-3 index in conjunction with aggression and attention deficit assessments.
The steep rise in U.S. criminal punishment in recent decades has spurred scholarship on the collateral consequences of imprisonment for individuals, families, and communities. Several excellent studies have estimated the number of people who have been incarcerated and the collateral consequences they face, but far less is known about the size and scope of the total U.S. population with felony convictions beyond prison walls, including those who serve their sentences on probation or in jail. This article develops state-level estimates based on demographic life tables and extends previous national estimates of the number of people with felony convictions to 2010. We estimate that 3 % of the total U.S. adult population and 15 % of the African American adult male population has ever been to prison; people with felony convictions account for 8 % of all adults and 33 % of the African American adult male population. We discuss the far-reaching consequences of the spatial concentration and immense growth of these groups since 1980.
People with mental illness and substance use disorder are over-represented in prisons. Injury-related mortality is elevated in people released from prison, and both mental illness and substance use disorder are risk factors for injury. Effective care coordination during the transition between criminal justice and community service providers improves health outcomes for people released from prison. However, the health outcomes and support needs of people with dual diagnosis (co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorder) released from prison are poorly understood. Here we aim to examine the association between dual diagnosis and non-fatal injury in adults released from prison.
Women are entering US prisons at nearly double the rate of men and are the fastest growing prison population. Current extant literature focuses on the prevalence of the incarceration of women, but few studies exist that emphasize the different trajectories to prison. For example, women prisoners have greater experiences of prior victimization, more reports of mental illness, and higher rates of illicit substance use. The purpose of this study was to understand the prevalence of childhood victimization and its association with adult mental health problems, substance abuse disorders, and further sexual victimization. The research team interviewed a random sample of 125 women prisoners soon to be released from prison to gather information on their childhood physical and sexual victimization, mental health and substance abuse problems as an adult, and sexual victimization in the year preceding incarceration. Results indicate that women prisoners in this sample, who were both physically and sexually victimized as children, were more likely to be hospitalized as an adult for a psychological or emotional problem. Women who were sexually victimized or both physically and sexually victimized were more likely to attempt suicide. Women who experienced physical victimization as children and women who were both physically and sexually victimized were more likely to have a substance use disorder and women who were sexually abused as children or both physically and sexually victimized were more likely to be sexually abused in the year preceding prison. This article ends with a discussion about prisons' role in providing treatment for women prisoners and basing this treatment on women’s trajectories to prison, which disproportionately include childhood victimization and subsequent mental health and substance use problems.
Narratives of Four Maori Ex-Inmates About Their Experiences and Perspectives of Rehabilitation Programmes
- International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology
- Published over 7 years ago
Māori are overrepresented in the criminal justice system in Aotearoa New Zealand. Māori offenders comprise 53% of those serving custodial sentences and 48% serving community-based sentences. The majority of Māori offenders reoffended within 2 years of serving their sentence. A number of programmes aimed at reducing recidivism among Māori have been implemented, and there is considerable debate around the effectiveness of these programmes. This qualitative study focuses on the narratives of four Māori male ex-inmates about their reoffending and their experiences of the rehabilitation programmes during their incarceration. Using a narrative approach, the study sought to hear the shared stories from the men and to determine what they believe would have reduced their reoffending. The stories revealed that a lack of financial resources and gang connections influenced reoffending; the value of prison rehabilitation programmes varied depending on their appropriateness to the inmate and to their intended outcomes; and healing programmes incorporating kaupapa Māori principles and practices assisted the participants in understanding their cultural heritage and communicating with society in more acceptable ways.