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Claudia Dalbert; Eva Filke
Belief in a Personal Just World, Justice Judgement, and Their Functions for Prisoners
Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal Volume:34 Issue:11 November 2007 Pages:1516 to 1527
This study focused on the relationship between the experience of justice, belief in a just world (BJW), and the feelings of adult male prisoners.
The pattern of results is in line with the notion that belief in a just world (BJW) is a personal resource that helps adult prisoners to reduce anger arousal and anger expression in the form of outburst behavior and that strengthens feelings of social inclusion. The stronger the adult prisoner’s BJW, the more they evaluated the legal proceedings leading to their conviction, their corrections officers’ behavior towards them, and decisions on prison affairs to be just. BJW seems to impact the evaluation of social experiences as just, and these justice judgments, especially interpersonal justice, are positively associated with mood state. The experience of being treated in a fair and respectful manner contributes to the sense of being a valued member of a group who deserves just treatment. The sense of belonging to a group has been found to reinforce the personal obligation to behave in accordance with the group’s rules. Being treated justly during imprisonment may signal belongingness to society and thereby, strengthen prisoners’ intrinsic motivation to obey the law in the future. This study examined prisoners’ justice judgments of their treatment during imprisonment, particularly of corrections officers’ behavior toward them and of decisions on prison affairs. The belief in a personal just world was expected to be an essential condition for positive justice judgments. The study sample consisted of 100 adult male prisoners from a German prison. Tables, figure, appendix and references
Treatment Retention in a Prison-Based Residential Sex Offender Treatment Program
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume:19 Issue:4 December 2007 Pages:333 to 346
This study assessed the role of static factors (e.g., history of violence, type of offense, and various demographic factors), a dynamic factor (motivation to change sexually deviant behavior), and an administrative factor (time between initial commitment to prison and admission to the treatment program) in predicting treatment retention within a prison-based sex offender treatment program.
The study found that higher scores on motivation to change sexually deviant behavior upon entering treatment was associated with retention in treatment. Other factors significantly related to retention in treatment were higher levels of education and admission to treatment within 3 months of initial commitment to prison. The importance of initial motivation to change suggests the value of having motivational enhancement interventions. Also, individuals discharged from the treatment program for disciplinary reasons could be sent to a program that addresses their motivational issues and prepares them for reentry into treatment. The fact that individuals with higher educational levels showed better retention in treatment suggests that attention be given to the reading and comprehension levels of program materials. More rapid involvement in sex offender treatment programs after prison admission could be facilitated by placing those on the waiting list into an outpatient program before admission to the residential program when it is anticipated that admission to the residential program will take longer than 3 months. The study sample consisted of 251 individuals who were admitted to a residential prison-based sex offender treatment program, 46 percent of whom completed the program. Treatment was voluntary. The Stages of Change Questionnaire was used to measure motivation for change. The instructions and some items of the motivation survey were adapted to refer to sexual problems. 3 tables and 40 references
Robert J. McGrath; Georgia F. Cumming; Stephen E. Hoke; Marcel O. Bonn-Miller
Outcomes in a Community Sex Offender Treatment Program: A Comparison Between Polygraphed and Matched Non-Polygraphed Offenders
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment Volume:19 Issue:4 December 2007 Pages:381 to 393
This study compared outcomes for 104 adult male sex offenders who received community cognitive-behavioral treatment, correctional supervision, and periodic polygraph compliance exams with a matched group of 104 sex offenders who received the same types of treatment and supervision services but no polygraph exams.
This study found that at fixed 5-year followup periods, the number of men in the polygraph group charged with a new nonsexual violent offense was significantly lower than in the no-polygraph group (2.9 percent compared with 11.5 percent); however, there were no significant between-group differences for the number of individuals charged for new sexual offenses, any sexual or violent offense, or any criminal offense. If subsequent research finds that polygraphy is a useful tool for reducing the reoffense rates of sexual offenders, it will likely be a component of programs that follow well-established principles of effective correctional practice, i.e., primarily those of risk, need, and responsivity. The "risk" principle suggests that polygraphy will be more effective in programs that treat moderate and high-risk offenders. Programs that target the "need" principle will use the polygraph to target those problems closely linked to sexual reoffending, and the "responsivity" principle involves delivering services in a manner to which individuals can respond effectively. The current study involved adult men who had committed sexual offenses and been placed under State community correctional supervision in Vermont from 1995 through 2001. Polygraph exams focused on whether participants were following their conditions of community supervision and treatment and had avoided committing new sexual offenses. The two groups were matched on three variables: Static-99 risk score, having completed prison sex offender treatment, and the date they were released into the community. 5 tables and 42 references