Prison Climate and Its Role in Reducing Dynamic Risk Factors During Offender Treatment [2018]

Although several offender treatment experts have suggested that therapeutic relationships play an important role in offender treatment, empirical finding supporting those arguments are scarce. The present study has therefore examined the relationship between prison climate, treatment motivation, and their influence on changes in risk factors in N = 215 inmates and detainees in four correctional facilities in Berlin, Germany. The inmates’ perception of prison climate significantly correlated with their attitudes towards treatment. More positive climate in terms of therapeutic hold and more positive treatment attitude in terms of trust in therapy were also the best predictors of stronger decreases in dynamic risk factors measured by the Level of Service Inventory–Revised (LSI-R). Our results support the importance of treatment relationship factors within the course of offender rehabilitation.

Joanna Stasch, Dahlnym Yoon, Julia Sauter, Joscha Hausam, Klaus-Peter Dahle
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, June 8, 2018