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Prison Experience and Reentry: Examining the Impact of Victimization on Coming Home

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2010
175 pages
This Ohio study examined the impact of in-prison emotional, physical, and/or sexual victimization on reentry outcomes following release.
The results of the multivariate analyses confirmed the study's main hypothesis, i.e., that victimization in prison has an impact on community adjustment after release. In varying degrees, victimization was related to outcomes on all of the models, with violent victimization and witnessing sexual victimization being the most powerful predictors of difficulties in reentry. There was no support for the hypothesis that social support and/or coping assistance mediated the impact of victimization. Neither was there evidence that psychological well-being (as measured by the post-traumatic cognitions and symptoms) impacted reentry outcome. One finding was counterintuitive; those who had participated in treatment during their time in the halfway house were more likely to be re-incarcerated and fail on parole. There was no standardized measure of risk or need available to analyze whether these individuals had a higher level of need. Recently released prisoners from 22 halfway houses and prisons in Ohio were selected for the study. Standardized instruments were used to assess the inmates' psychological status in various areas, including but not limited to post-traumatic cognitions, depression, anxiety, social support, coping, and criminality. The final analysis compared recidivism rates for those who reported having been victimized while in prison and those who reported no victimization. 37 tables, 12 figures, extensive references, and appended supplementary study data and materials

Date Published: May 1, 2010