Predicting Violence Potential

Abstract

This paper is a discussion of two articles representing studies on the prediction of violence potential in inmates. The first article is about inmates taken in as juveniles whereas the second article is a study on supermax prisoners. There is a relation drawn from both articles on the impact the surroundings of a convict or an ex-convict has on the ability or the frequency of committing felonies. This paper discusses the two articles and relates the same to the work of felony psychology professionals.

Discussion

The first article that I am going to look at, “Historical and Personality Correlates to the Violence Patterns of Juveniles Tried as Adults” presents a study aimed at explaining variety, frequency and situational correlates as regards to the history of past violence among juveniles after going through corrective measures in order to establish the potential of such juveniles committing further violent acts. The study involved represents a study on prisoners adjudicated as juveniles so as to study the events surrounding their adjudication and their current behaviour.

A total of one hundred prisoners were selected for the study and all of them were of ages ranging between sixteen to twenty one years of age. This was so because this age group of prisoners represented those who were taken in as juveniles and thus would present the best group to analyse behavioural change and thus prediction of violence potential. According to the study, it evident there is little association between past violence and risk of violent behaviour among the inmates taken in as juveniles. One factor that stands out is that these inmates potential to commit violence even after being taken in as juveniles depends on the situations they are exposed to, not ruling out their past behaviours which has very little effect on violence behaviour.

This kind of study is of great importance forensic psychology professionals as it aids in the understanding of the behaviours of inmates once they are released from prisons and corrective institutions. Understanding the past behaviour of the released inmates and the kind of situations they find themselves in. This also helps in guiding and counselling released inmates on how to respond to various situations they might find themselves in once out of prison to avoid recurrence of criminal offences.

The second article, “Felony and violent recidivism among supermax prison inmates in Washington State: A pilot study” represents a study among supermax prisoners in Washington state. Major comparisons are drawn between these supermax prisoners to non supermax prisoners in Washington State in order to establish their mental state.

The study involved accessing the numbers of felonies committed by supermax felonies by both supermax prisoners and non supermax prisoners within the control facilities and once they have been released from the various facilities and into the outside environment where they mingle freely with other people. It was evident that supermax prisoners commit more crimes when in correctional centres that non supermax prisoners. However, this is not reflected when they are released from the corrective centres where non supermax prisoners tend to commit felonies more frequently than the supermax prisoners. This goes to imply that the potential of convicts and ex-convicts committing felonies depend on the situations they are exposed to, or various situation trigger different reactions and past crimes have little to do with the potential of one committing a crime.

This study is significant to forensic psychology professionals in that the understanding of the effect of a situation one is exposed to the ability of committing a crime or the frequency one commits a crime. This can also serve in rehabilitation of criminals especially supermax criminals as felony psychology professionals would identify what to guide then and thus lower their potential of commissioning violent acts.

 

References

Lovell, D., & Johnson, C. (2004). Felony and violent recidivism among supermax prison inmates in Washington State: A pilot study. University of Washington, April.

Kruh, I. P., Frick, P. J., & Clements, C. B. (2005). Historical and personality correlates to the violence patterns of juveniles tried as adults. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 32(1), 69-96.

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