American University
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Learned violence: Violent and aggressive behavior among non-violent offenders in prison

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:10 authored by Heather M. Ahn-Redding

This study explores whether non-violent offenders graduate to more aggressive and violent behavior after being incarcerated. Specifically, it examines the effects of incarceration on non-violent offenders by assessing the types of disciplinary infractions they incur while in prison. By comparing non-violent offenders who have no self-reported history of violence to violent offenders and to non-violent offenders with self-reported violent histories, this study seeks to determine whether otherwise non-violent individuals are participating in violence in prison, thus predisposing them to violence upon release. By using inmate surveys from 1991 and 1997, I will examine inmates' personal histories, past offenses, current offenses, and disciplinary infractions through negative binomial regression models. The dependent variable will measure whether the inmates have been written up for physically assaulting guards/inmates and for possessing weapons. Finally, I intend to examine whether non-violent prisoners are faring worse in prison today than in the past by comparing the 1991 and 1997 surveys. The results of this analysis indicate that non-violent inmates are susceptible to violent behavior while in prison and demonstrate the same proclivities to engage in infractions as violent offenders.



American University




Thesis (Ph.D.)--American University, 2005.


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