Predicting Changes in Jail Inmates' Substance Abuse from Pre-Incarceration to Post-Release
Graham, David M.
In light of the substance abuse epidemic pervading jails and prisons across the country, the current study analyzed if frequency of substance use and symptoms of substance dependence decreased among inmates from pre-incarceration to one year post-release. Additionally, individual variation was determined by assessing the effects of criminogenic cognitions, shame, guilt, and substance abuse treatment to identify the psychological underpinnings and programs that predict the attenuation of jail inmates' substance abuse. A sample of 321 inmates from a county jail was assessed to determine the extent of change that transpired in regard to their substance use leading up to their arrest, and the year following their discharge. Results suggested that frequency of substance use and substance dependence decreased from pre-incarceration to post-release, though there is a noteworthy amount of individual variation. Specifically, greater embodiment of criminogenic cognitions predicted smaller decreases in substance use frequency and dependence, substance abuse treatment predicted slight reductions in substance abuse, women showed greater decreases than men, and first-time inmates' substance abuse decreased more so than repeat offenders. Shameproneness, guilt-proneness, and race did not predict changes in inmate's frequency of substance use or symptoms of dependence. Implications and future directions are discussed.
vi, 55 p.
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