Date of Award
Master of Arts
Criminology and Criminal Justice
The vast number of individuals under correctional supervision in the United States has been an area of concern for decades. The correctional population as a whole is made up of approximately six million individuals, with approximately four million serving community sentences. It is essential to provide adequate services and resources to those serving community sentences due to the large number serving such sentences. To add to the concern is the immense number of offenders with mental illness under correctional supervision. Often, offenders with mental illness receive psychiatric services, but treatment programs that address the cause of criminal activity are neglected. The goal of this study is to examine scores from two assessment instruments measuring criminal thinking and the therapeutic alliance to determine their predictability for future criminal activity using a sample of thirty-five probationers with mental illness. Probationers completed both the Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles and the Working Alliance Inventory in order to determine the extent of criminal cognitions and measure the relationship between therapist and patient and agreement towards the goals and tasks of therapy, respectively. Results indicate that probationers who score less favorably on each of the scales were more likely to obtain a new charge following completion of the program. Further, less Agreement on the Tasks of Therapy was a significant predictor for future criminal activity. This study adds to the correctional mental health treatment literature, and illuminates areas which can be improved and provides recommendations for future research.
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