Friday, March 23, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, March 23, 2007


NCJ 217325
L. Holtzhausen
"What Works?": Core Knowledge Required in Social Work With the Offender
Acta Criminologica Volume:17 Issue:1 Dated:2004 Pages:103 to 114

Social workers in corrections must have the same general knowledge required and expected of all social workers. In addition, they must have a specialized body of knowledge that pertains to offending behavior, factors that contribute to crime, theories and models of deviance, organizational issues, the criminal justice system, and the effectiveness of various types of intervention for different types of offenders. In outlining the characteristics of these various bodies of knowledge, this article focuses first on criminology and the study of crime and deviance. It discusses various explanations of crime and deviance, including those related to biological, economic, psychological, sociological, and conflict theories. The article then addresses the effectiveness of intervention and sanctions. It discusses general theories, theoretical constructs, and techniques that have been found to be empirically effective in the treatment of offenders. One treatment approach that meets this condition is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapy is based in the principle that behavior can be modified through the systematic use of empirically based learning principles. This therapeutic method is a relatively short-term form of psychotherapy that is active and directive. Behavioral therapy and behavioral modification are also discussed. Behavioral therapy emphasizes counterconditioning, which refers to the interchanging of one type of response for another more acceptable response based on learning principles. Behavior modification emphasizes the use of conditions and stimuli that foster and condition positive behaviors. Other treatment techniques mentioned are psychoanalysis, logotherapy, system theory, and reality therapy. 35 references

NCJ 217366
Andrew L. Spivak ; Kelly R. Damphousse
Who Returns to Prison?: A Survival Analysis of Recidivism Among Adult Offenders Released in Oklahoma, 1985-2004
Justice Research and Policy Volume:8 Issue:2 Dated:2006 Pages:57 to 88

This study tracked 60,536 adult offenders released from Oklahoma prisons between 1985 and 1999, in order to identify the factors linked to any return to prison (recidivism) before May 31, 2004. The study found that property offenders were at greater risk of recidivism than drug, violent, or sex offenders. Other factors linked to recidivism were being released to probation rather than being discharged; having a history of violent offenses; having a greater number of past incarcerations; and being young, male, and of a minority race. Sentence length and the length of time in prison had weak but significant associations with recidivism. Security classification and proportion of sentence served had moderately positive significant relationships with recidivism. The authors interpret these findings to indicate that positive institutional performance and shorter prison stays will result in lower recidivism rates. Thus, "good behavior" indicators, such as number of misconduct reports and program completions, should be primary considerations in parole and clemency decisions. The predictor variables measured and analyzed with a Cox Proportional Hazards Survival Regression included offense type, release type (probation, parole, or discharge), number of prior incarcerations, sentence length, time served in prison, security classification, education, age, sex, and race. 5 tables, 9 figures, and 34 references

NCJ 217383
Philip R. Magaletta ; Marc W. Patry ; Erik F. Dietz ; Robert K. Ax
What is Correctional About Clinical Practice in Corrections?
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume:34 Issue:1 Dated:January 2007 Pages:7 to 21

A survey of psychologists practicing in Federal prisons solicited their opinions about the clinical and correctional knowledge that had been most relevant to their practice, with the aim of using this information to shape the continuing education/training for correctional mental health professionals. The survey found that 9 of the 41 job functions were identified by respondents as core bodies of knowledge. The two core bodies of knowledge rated as most important were psychopathology and suicide prevention. Other areas of knowledge considered important in the safe and orderly operation of the institution were confrontation avoidance and how to promote the safety of inmates and staff through the institution's procedures and environment. Knowledge and training related to interdepartmental communications/relationships were also considered important by respondents. Over the course of the educational continuum from graduate school to continuing education at the postdoctoral level, most of the respondents had some exposure to each of the core bodies of knowledge mentioned. Regardless of the core knowledge content, on-the-job training was the most frequently endorsed training mode. Seventy-five percent of the respondents favored graduate school exposure in the areas of psychopathology, suicide prevention, ethical issues, medical/psychopharmacology, and clinical psychopathy. An expert consensus method was used to develop survey items for the Federal Bureau of Prisons Training Analysis of Psychology Services and Staff Positions Survey (July 2002). Forty-one job functions were included; and two measurement structures, training and descriptive, were developed for each job function. Respondents were asked to provide information on these structures as they related to their current positions. A total of 595 surveys were distributed in packets to the chief psychologists of 99 Federal correctional institutions. A total of 177 completes surveys were received. 4 tables and 29 references

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