After a Guilty Verdict

Imprisonment, Alternatives and Treatment

  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 17-06-11 10:22


Planned Behaviours

Gillis et al

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59% of prisoners discharged from prison reconvivted (1998)

investigated effects of community-based employment scheme on recidivism rates

over 20,000 - 95% males - mostly drug-realted crimes or fraud

Experimental group had completed employment programme and secured job, control group hadn't.

Experimental group volunteered selves for programme (already willing to change)

70% experimental group remained out of prison, 55% control group so employment programmes work to reduce likelihood of reoffending

Offenders with less chance of getting job due to poor education etc should be put on such programmes to help them plan life on release and reduce recidivism

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Depression/Suicide Risk


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92 unnatural deaths in prisons in 2007 and 100 resuscitations. 1500 on suice watch - one factor is age and gender (young men most at risk) and another factor is overcrowding

Looked at all unnatural deaths in prsions over 15 years (longitudinal)

442 unnatural deaths and 52 self-inflicted injuries

Most of suicide group on remand and most of self-inflicted group were females.

Deaths occurred mostly at night - extra watches during night to prevent this?

Study helps put into perspective level of suicide in prison which is much higherthan previous years and isuseful in giving ideas how to reduce this i.e. reduce overcrowding to prevent stress from lack of privacy etc.

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Prison Situation

and Roles


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Split prisoners into prisoners and guards

Guards became sadistic and prisoners became depressed

One prisoner displayed symptoms of disorganised thinking, uncontrollable crying and screaming and another developed psychosomatic rash

In overcrowded prisons, prisoners display signs of learnt helplessness i.e. stop behaving both good and bad

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Alternatives to Imprisonment


Mair and May

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Alternative to Imprisonment

Offenders on probation given questionnaires about their  life, likelihood of reoffending and attitudes towards probation

88% found probation useful and most effective part was having someone to talk to about problems like housing and work

Only 37% believed probation would stop them reoffending but not one offender thought it was designed to prevent reoffending

1/3 went on to commit another offence

Suggests that although probation seen in positive light by prisoners, it doesn't have a huge impact on recidivism and are unaware of purpose

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Alternatives to Imprisonment

Resorative Justice

Sherman and Strang

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Alternatives to Imprisonment

Offender encouraged to accept responsibility for crime and be re-integrated into society.

Offender meets victim to increase victim empathy and learn how crime has effected them - can also help the victim deal with their anger/feelings

First time petty offences - may be offered as alternative to prison and more serious offences - may be part of sentence

Results of research showed significant reductions in re-offending for property and violent crimes but didn't work as well for other crimes - may be as violence/property crimes affect someone personally whereas stealing from large retail chain doesn't

Restorative justice is useful alternative for certain types of crim but use is limited

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Alternatives to Imprisonment

Looking Deathworthy


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Alternatives to Imprisonment

some people may be more likely to receive death penalty in America based on what they look like

Results showed black people 57% more likely to receivedeath penalty whereas less stereotypically black people only 25%

Where victim was white more likely to receive death penalty than if victim is black

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Cognitive Skills Programme

Friendship et al

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similar to CBT - aimed at changing thinking patterns BUT takes long time and must be continual

670 male offenders (androcentric but large sample) volunteered to participate (already willing to chance - validity issues?)

Programme involves reasoning and rehabilitation and enhanced thinking skills to correct faulty thinking patterns linked to offending beahviour

Results showed significant drop in reconviction rates - up to 14% lower than control group

This reduction represents prevention of 21,000 crimes

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Anger Management


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Similar to SIT -

  • Cognitive preparation - what makes them angry?
  • Skills acquisition - taught skills like relaxation to cope with anger
  • Application - put into practice situations to help practice applying skills

92% of prisoners showed improvement and no change in behaviours of control group

BUT long term effectiveness not yet established and little data to compare this with other treatments

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Ear Accupuncture &

Drug Rehabilitation


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350 prisoners in 6 high security prisons received ear accupuncture to treat drug addictions and make prisoners calmer

Prisoners reported better sleep and improved relaxation, better coping skills, reduced nicotine cravings and improved health

Staff reported wings were calmer

  • 70% reduction in drug-realted incidents
  • 41% reduction in serious incidents
  • 42% reduction in positive drug testing

Accupuncture does work to reduce drug behaviours in prisons and calm prisonersdown BUT doesn't adress behaviours once they have left prison so needs longitudinal research to discover this

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Short Memory


Think it needs some evaluation points alongside the content.

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