We tested the novel hypothesis that the dehumanization of prisoners varies as a function of how soon they will be released from prison. Seven studies indicate that people ascribe soon-to-be-released prisoners greater mental sophistication than those with more time to serve, all other things being equal. Studies 3 to 6 indicate that these effects are mediated by perceptions that imprisonment has served the functions of rehabilitation, retribution, and future deterrence. Finally, Study 7 demonstrates that beliefs about rehabilitation and deterrence may be the most important in accounting for these effects. These findings indicate that the amount of time left on a prison sentence influences mind ascription to the incarcerated, an effect that has implications for our understanding of prisoner dehumanization.
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Provincial HSJCC Biennial Conference
The Provincial HSJCC Biennial Conference is the network’s premiere educational event bringing together over 400 professionals and persons with lived experience from across Ontario.