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Measuring Prison Disciplinary Problems: A Multiple Indicators Approach to Understanding Prison Adjustment

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: 11 Issue: 4 Dated: (December 1994) Pages: 679-709
Date Published
31 pages
The author assessed the validity of alternative indicators of prison adjustment by comparing four adjustment measures (official disciplinary citations, staff assesments, inmate survey measures, and inmate interview measures).

Data were obtained at the Federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, between September 1986 and July 1988, and 111 male inmates participated in the study and followup. Inmates ranged in age from 19 to 63 years, and 96 percent had prior adult and/or juvenile records. Multiple indicators analysis revealed agreement among measures of insubordination. For other measures, staff data tended to agree with official data, and self-report measures tended to agree with interview measures. Bivariate and multivariate analysis showed that effects of psychological, demographic, and criminal record variables on prison adjustment varied substantially across criterion measures. In general, study results suggest that most criterion measures of prison adjustment are reasonably valid but that each measure poses different sources of potential bias and measurement error. An appendix describes criterion variables. 72 references, 7 footnotes, and 7 tables

Date Published: January 1, 1994