Sunday, February 21, 2016

Violence and Victimization During Incarceration: Relations to Psychosocial Adjustment During Reentry to the Community

We surveyed male ex-offenders (N = 100) about their experiences during and prior to incarceration to assess the role of these factors in psychosocial adjustment postrelease. 

Participants completed measures of preincarceration mental health problems and severe victimization and feelings of safety during incarceration; they also self-reported emotional distress, antisocial behavior, and posttraumatic stress (PTS). Moderator analyses of PTS outcomes revealed two key interactions between preincarceration mental health problems and severe victimization during incarceration as well as preincarceration mental health problems by feelings of safety during incarceration. 

In those without preincarceration mental health problems, victimization and PTS were significantly positively related; this was not the case for those with preexisting mental problems. Furthermore, the positive relation between feeling unsafe and PTS was stronger among those with preexisting mental problems. 

Findings are discussed with respect to implications for reentry services.

Rutgers University, New Jersey
 2016 Jan 29

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