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PSYC 268 Chapter Notes -Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Anger Management, Psychopathy

Course Code
PSYC 268
Deborah Connolly

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PSYC 268 – Fall 2012
Week 7 Book Readings: Chapter 4 pp. 104-114; Chapter 10 pp. 269-
274, 287-294
-This group includes offenders who have mental illnesses, sometimes referred to as MDO
(mentally disordered offenders), sexual offenders, offenders who are at high risk for violence
Mentally Disordered Offenders
-Prevalence of Mental Illness in Jails and Prisons – rates of mental illness in the offender
population can range from less than 6% to over 60%
o10% suffer from psychotic disorders
oBetween 15% and 40% suffer from depression, anxiety, etc
o90% suffer from substance use disorders or personality disorders
- Distinction between Jails and Prisons – differ in the populations they serve, type of treatments
offered to inmates
oJailsshort-term facilities that house offenders that have been charged (but not yet
convicted) with a crime; may also house offenders who have convicted and have a short
sentence (typically less than a year)
Greater proportion of MDOs found here; less treatment options because
offenders have shorter stays and are less able to engage in long-term treatment
oPrisons – houses inmates who have been convicted and for whom a sentence of more
than a year has been received
-Jail Mental Health Services
oAreas of emphasis were the identification of problems, and dispensing of medication
oDrug and alcohol services were available in majority of the jails
oPsychological counseling was available in less than half of the jails surveyed
-Prison Mental Health Services
oMost common form of treatment is the administration of psychotropic medication
oBehavioral or cognitive-behavioral treatment is also popular
oSpecial prisons i.e. maximum-security hospitals or special sections of regular prisons
specifically target the needs of MDOs
Usually house offenders who have the most serious and chronic mental disorders
and employ staff who have been specially trained to deal with the needs of these
-Goals of Treatment: (1) Reduction of symptoms of the mental illnesses, (2) Reduction of
criminal recidivism
oTargeted Areas: active psychotic symptoms, aggression and problems of institutional
adjustment, criminal propensity, depression, life skills deficit, social withdrawal, substance
-Treatment Programs for MDOs
oBehaviorally oriented treatments – to change their behavior
oSkills training – to improve social and life skills
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oPharmacological treatment – reduce symptoms of mental illness
Sexual Offenders
-Treatment Programs
oNonbehavioral Psychotherapy
oPharmacological – proven to be effective for reducing the sex drive of sexual offenders
High motivation can replace medication
oBehavioral or Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
Goal: normalization of deviant sexual preferences
Training in social competence is a key component of effective treatment programs
Case management and community follow-up is an important component of their
continued treatment and success
Offenders at High Risk for Violence
- Mental Disorder and Violence
oIn samples of nonoffender community, research suggests that psychotic symptoms and
substance abuse or dependence are important risk factors for violence
oIn samples of criminal offenders, diagnoses of personality disorders (especially
Antisocial Personality Disorder and Psychopathy) and substance abuse has been linked to
violent behavior
-Treatment of Violent Offenders
oMost effective treatment target the specific needs of the particular offender
oPersonality Disorders – dialectical behavior therapy
oSubstance Abuse – Relapse Prevention Training
oThree Guidelines for the treatment of violent offenders
Risk – more intensive services should be provided to higher-risk cases
Needs – should target criminogenic needs i.e. personal characteristics that
contribute to the commission of crime
Target: antisocial attitudes, aggression, substance abuse, self-control
Inappropriate targets: self-esteem, intrapsychic forces, etc
Style of Treatment – behavioral or cognitive-behavioral treatments have been seen
to be the most effective so far
General Recidivism and Rehabilitation History
- Before the 1970s, the preeminent philosophy in corrections was rehabilitation, rather than
Treatment Programs for Substance Abuse
- Most empirical support: Behavioral or cognitive-behavioral treatments, including behavior
contracting, social skills training, relapse prevention
- Least empirical support: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), education, lectures
-Three Key Features for successful monitoring and treatment of individuals on parole or probation:
oCentralized responsibility wherein one decision maker or body has primary authority and
responsibility over and responsibility for these individuals
oA uniform system of treatment and supervision
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