There is clear experimental evidence for a causal link between alcohol misuse and violent behaviour. Treatments for alcohol misuse with offenders are therefore justified on the grounds that they may reduce violent behaviour and thus re-offending. The current paper tested whether a 10-session CBT intervention with offenders still in prison would produce improvements across three time points (pre, post and follow up) in self-reported alcohol expectancies, aggressiveness, impulsivity, and self-efficacy in managing alcohol use and violent behaviour. The programme focussed on educating participants on the relationship between alcohol use and violence, modifying unhelpful cognitions, and providing skills based training to manage potential triggers. Data from 49 offenders in prison were collected pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at three month follow up. Long term improvements (from pre- to post-intervention and follow up) were observed with respect to alcohol expectancies (in terms of sociability and liquid courage), impulsive responding to negative affect triggers, trait anger, and confidence in managing alcohol use and offending behaviour. These findings provide preliminary evidence for the efficacy of the CBT programme in reducing harmful alcohol use and associated violence. Limitations and recommendations for future evaluation of the intervention are discussed.
Lorna Hardy, Katherine Josephy, Amy McAndrew, Phil Hawksley, Lucie Hartley & Lee Hogarth
Addiction Research & Theory, 14 Apr 2018