Prison Adjustment Patterns of Offenders in Federal Correctional Institutions

Roxie A. Schoppet, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Kevin L. Jackson, Federal Bureau of Prisons
Christopher A. Innes, National Institute of Justice

Prison adjustment is of obvious importance in correctional environments. Demographic and criminal history indicators have helped to identify some differences between those inmates who are more likely to encounter problems in coping with confinement and those who are more likely to successfully adapt. One particular perspective of adjustment involves classifying offenders as "advantaged" and "nonadvantaged" according to certain personal preprison characteristics. This idea is studied for offenders housed in Federal correctional facilities of varying security levels. The adjustment patterns of these groups are analyzed to determine if any experience differences exist. Also, a comparison of male and female adjustment patterns is made. An additional effort of this research determines how self-reported inmate perceptions and attributes (including criminal sentiments and attitudes) relate to adjustment criteria: use of psychological services and official disciplinary data. The results are discussed within the context of coping styles and life skills development. Possible future research questions are also posed.

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Updated 05/20/2006