After a guilty verdict

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theories of Imprisonment:Gills

Aim: effect on recidivism rates of a community based employment scheme

Method: content analysis, Canada around 23,500 individuals released 98-2005 January (95% males). Matched pair design on gender,risk level,release year , substance abuse ect. Two groups employment programme and unemployed.


employment programmes likely to remain on conditional release

70% employment group remained out compared to 55%

* Longer time for employment to return 37 months compared 11 months

Conclusions:employment based programmes play an important role in last few days of offenders sentence.Planning the offenders return to community increase likelihood of success. 

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theories of Imprisonment:Dooley

Aim: investigate all unnatural deaths that occurred in prisons in England & Wales.

Method:content analysis of police records.groups recorded as suicide were compared with non suicides. 

Findings: 442 unnatural deaths,300 suicides other. More of suicide groups were on remand(not yet sentenced) most occurred at night. 

Conclusions: increase in suicides and unnatural were due to overcrowding and prisoner stress.

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theories of Imprisonment:Zimbardo

Aim: to investigate the situational explanation of guards and prisoners

Method: field experiment, independent measures design on sample 22 well- adjusted students. randomly allocated to guard or prisoner.


 *guards and prisoners developed an increasingly negative attitude towards each other and themselves.

*guards express aggression verbally, 5 prisoner had to leave due to extreme depression

*ended after 6 days because of participants well-being

Conclusions:the researchers concluded that the behaviours displayed were due to situational factors rather than individual personality traits.

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Alternative to prisons: Mair and May

Aim: the experience of offenders on probation orders across England & Wales

Method: 3200 offenders, randomly from 22 different probation offices (40% drop out rate). Interviews conducted independent researchers, questions mainly closed,likert scale and multiple choice. 

Findings: 88% felt useful, 60% thought officer would help them, 37% probation would stop them re-offending. 

Conclusions: probation is seen as useful by offenders, over third of offenders went on to re-offend.

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Alternative to prisons: Sherman & Strang

Aim: restorative justice and measure its effectiveness in terms of re-offending 

Method: content analysis 424 academics papers on RJ (secondary data). 36 studies compared re-offending rates for those who were part of restorative justice programmes ad those that were not.

Findings: RJ is more effective when there is a personal victims and work for violence and property crime. However RJ not effective in all cases.

Conclusions: strong evidence that RJ useful in some cases, support increase use with young, first time offenders. 

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Alternative to prisons: Eberhardt

Aim: investigate whether is support for the hypothesis 

Method: analysis of the database of death-eligible cases in Philly, 44 cases black man killed a white victim. photographs of shown to naive raters, 4 secs rate facial features 1-11. 51 raters from Stanford university 

Findings: 57% more stero black than 24% less stero, victum black no significant effect found.

Conclusions: suggest that stereotypically looking black men are seen as some how more "Death Worthy"

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treatment programmes: Cann

Aim: cognitive skills programmes were effective in terms of lower re-offending rates for a sample of women prisoners.

Method: 180 female offenders, independent measures either CBT:  reasoning and rehabilitation(R&R) or enhanced thinking skills (ETS)compared with 540 who did not receive therapy. re-conviction rates examined after 2 years of release. 

Findings: No significant difference found between groups, R&R slightly worse and re-convicted earlier.

Conclusion: Cann suggested programme ineffective because:women offend for different reasons to men cognitive therapies developed with male prisoners, inappropriate to women.therapy not effectively delivered.psychologist suggest the reason criminals re-offend is because of faulty thinking processes, if these are broken then progress can be made to a non- criminal lifestyle.

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treatment programmes: Ireland

Aim: whether anger management programmes work with young male offenders

Method: natural experiment,  50 prisoners who completed CALM and 37 who were suitable but not taken course. Given cognitive behavioural interview, prison officers complete checklist 29 anger behaviour with scores of 0-2 week before interview. prisoners complete 53 questions in questionnaire on anger management.

Findings: prisoners completed CALM rated lower on anger questionnaire and by officers than control group. 92% showed improvement on at least one measure of aggression and anger. 8% deteriorated on both measures.

Conclusion: short term seems effective but no long term data.8% got worse..

CALM is a cognitive behavioural  programme aimed at prisoners who have problems controlling their anger( emotions) which is an important part of their offending behaviour.

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treatment programmes: Wheatley

Aim: to evaluate the effectiveness of ear acupuncture

Method:350 prisoners from six high security prisons,  received acupuncture and standard care FOCUS, control group just FOCUS. two qualified practitioners, group of 10-15 relaxed settings, needles placed in 5 points on ear and left to relax for 40 minutes.qualitative and quantitative data collected.

Findings: 70% reduction in drug related  incidents 6 months after treatment,32% reduction in positive  drug test (voluntary). qualitative data prisoners reported improved relaxation, better coping skills reduced cravings for nicotine and health improvements. prison officers report the wing was calmer.

Conclusion: wheatley believe there is enough evidence to expend the delivery of the programme, acupuncture wok as a complementary therapy with other programmes. 

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