FORENSICS - Anger Management in custody

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  • Anger Management in custody
    • Novaco Anger Scale
      • 25 questions measuring anger with aim to reduce score out of 100
      • NOVACO ('75) - many crimes committed bc of anger (inability to control or misplaced)
      • aim of anger management is to teach offender to:
        • 1) recognise feelings of anger
        • 2) control anger behaviour
        • 3) resolve conflict in positive ways
    • Pros (A03)
      • gives offender insight into how they think and helps them to understand their probs in the past. Cognitive intervention can make them function better in everyday life
      • made difficult prisoners easier to control
    • Cons (A03)
      • can only be practised in enclosed areas
      • in a hostile environment, they may react first as they will be angry to
      • practising role-play situation is too different from real life. Offenders; ability to apply skill is hindered, may resort to former behaviour
      • difficult to measure success of programmes. Recidivism could measure, but someone may re offend due to other factors, not the failure of the therapy
      • lack of evidence that programmes last long term
      • offender must be motivated to take part. Some may not have this and there intervention doesn't work well
      • individ diffs: may be diff levels of anger for diff people, everyone will report change differently
      • self report methods: self-desirability. Prisoners may exaggerate the effects - parole hearings
      • demand characteristics: very obvious what right answers should be on Novaco anger questions
      • not effective for certain people: psychopaths may use the skills taught to help manipulate the parole board to get them released
    • Ainsworth (2000)
      • identified 3 basic stages:
        • skills acquisition - skills to control anger
        • practice - react to something in a non-angry way
        • cognitive preparation - thinking about it
    • Research
      • IRELAND - found signif improvements in the prisoners that took part in anger management therapy sessions (92% anger reduction). No changes in control group with no therapy
      • TRIMBLE - anger management programme in Ireland reduced expression of anger and amount of anger experienced compared to their pre-treatment scores
      • HOWELLS - meta-analysis -> found anger was reduced but not to a signif level. Found that anger level reported prior to therapy was an indicator of success and offenders' motivation to take part

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