Gillis and Nafekh


Haney and Zimbardo

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  • Created by: Amy Leech
  • Created on: 04-04-13 12:27

Gillis and Nafekh; The effects of community based

Background: Previous research has confirmed lack of employment prospects/unemployment as serious risk factors for re-offending. A Prison Reform Trust report highlights that a typical adult offender has poor literacy and numeracy skills and has left school with no qualifications.

Aim: To explore the impact of employment on re-offending (recidivism) with offenders on conditional release.

Sample: Started with a data base of 23,500, 95% males and 5% female on conditional release between Jan 1998 and Jan 2005. After matching the sample was 4640 male, 156 female.

Method: Content analysis of Correctiona Service of Canada's database, followed by statistical analysis using matched pairs (matched on gender, risk level, release year, sentence length, etc.). Matched sample divided into two groups: i) employed upon release; ii) not uemployed. Data analysed to draw comparisions between groups on: 1. Return to custody before end of sentence; 2. Return to custody with a new offence before end of sentence; and 3. Return to custody without a new offence before end of sentence.

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Gillis and Nafekh; The effects of community based

Results: From date of conditional release men take an average (median) of 6 months to find employment while women take 10 months. Men: employed more likely to remain on conditionl relsease until the end of their sentence than unemployed. The median time to return to custody was also later for the employed group (37 months, compared to 11 months for the unemployed). Employed men were also less likely to return to custody with a new offence or technical revocation. Women: employed more likely to remain on conditional release until the end of their sentence; 70% of employed women remained on conditional release comapred to 55% of unemployed. Similarly the employed women were less likely to return with a new offence than unemployed.

Evaluation: Using an official database and statistical analysis eliminates researcher bias; the large sample is reliable; geographically specific, cannot necessarily generalise findings. Social determinism/situational explanations of behaviour (employment schemes reduce recidivism) and also very useful.

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Dooley; Prison suicide in England and Wales

Background: The rise of unnatural deaths in prisons (which is disprortionate to increases in the prison population), particularly suicides,are of great concern, as is the increase in self-harm. The risk factos encompass those that are both individual and institutional/situational (e.g. mental illness, history of psychiatric disorder, history of self-harm, substance abuse, losses, victimisation by other inmates, difficulties in coping with the prison regime, guilt).

Aim: Investigating unnatural deaths by suicide occuring in prison in England Wales between 1972 and 1987.

Data: Of 442 unnatural deaths recorded, 300 given a verdict of suicide; 52 a verdict of consciously self-inflicted injury (CSI), the remaining a variety of verdicts. 295 suicides (98.3% of total) were studied, 290 male, 5 female (age range 15-79).

Method: Content analysis of Prison Development Personal (PDP) files (containing information on inmates background, previous offences, time spent in custody, accounts/statements from prison staff/inmates on circumstances surrounding the death, coroners inquest, admission details, difficulties encountered - person or prison). Extensive statisitical analysis conducted.

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Dooley; Prison suicide in England and Wales

Results: Analysis of suicides: 90% (266/295) were by hanging; 3.7% (11/95) from drug overdoes/poisoning; 33% (97) had a history of psychiatric contac; 27% (80) had a past record of alcohol abus; 23% (69) of drug abuse; 43% (126) had on record deliberate self-injury in the past. 47% (139/295) of suicides while prisoners on remand. 50% of suicides were between midnight and 8am.

Evaluation: Use of PDP files (includes large number of factors) attempts to be less reductionist. Researcher bias is eliminated by use of data gathered by others; however, cannot evaluate how systematically/objectively data was collated. Useful (as less reductionist) and highlights 'time of suicide' risk, although reducing risks likely to be curtailed due to finacial/resource limitations. Social determinism/situational explanations of behaviour (prison situation).

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Haney and Zimbardo; USA prison policy: the past an

Background: The Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) conducted in 1973 and Reicher and Haslam BBC prison study gives some indication as to the psychological distress of incarceration.

Aim: 1. To review the past 25 years of USA prison policy: a) 'The criminal justice systems has become increasingly harsh and punitive', i.e. the concept of rehabilitation had been discredited. b) Many US states changed to determine sentencing (i.e. removal of the possiblity of parole/being let out for good behaviour). c) Building of new prisons to cope with increase in prison population. d) USA had more people in prison than any other modern nation. e) Racial bias identified. African - American men make up 48% of the prison population. Women and Hispanics also over represented compared to white men. f) Drug offenders over-represented (64% of black male D's and 71% of black female D's convicted in drug trials). g) Increase in the special security facilities where offenders live in extreme isolation (e.g. locked up 23/24 hours); many US prisons are unable to carry out training, education, counselling and treatment programmes.

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Haney and Zimbardo; USA prison policy: the past an

Aim: 2. To suggest improvements to the prison system: a) The negative psychological effets of prison are well documented and should be evaluated, monitored and 'treated'. b) Prisons are over-crowded and contain mentally unstable inmates; threats of violence are commonplace. Prison sentencing should be used sparingly/serious alternatives should be considered. c) Transitional/decompression programmes needed to bridge the gap between the extremes of prison regimes and release. d) Assessments/psychometric tests are insufficiently sensitive to be predictive in a prison environment. e) Change is best from 'without' i.e. independent from the prison environment. f) Psychological knowledge /research (almost been completely disregarded) should inform policy/changes.

Evaluation: Social determinsm/situational explanations of behaviour. Not very useful as US legal system and culture different to UK (ethnocentric to apply findings).

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