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What do prisoners want? Current concerns of adult male prisoners

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Recently, positive approaches to offender rehabilitation, focusing upon offenders' strengths, have gained prominence. Proponents have criticized existing rehabilitation models as focusing too much on offenders' deficits. Goal perspectives, which provide a structure for therapy, may unite these two approaches. The Personal Concerns Inventory: Offender Adaptation (PCI:OA) is a semi-structured interview that identifies offenders' current concerns or goals. The goals identified by a sample of 129 convicted adult male prisoners are reported here. A range of positive, anti-criminal goals were expressed, including stopping offending, improving self-control, finding and keeping jobs, having stable accommodation, quitting drink and drugs, changing support networks, and finding new leisure pursuits. Furthermore, prisoners expressed life-enhancing goals, such as improving their lifestyle, gaining work experience, having good family relationships, gaining skills, and getting fit and healthy. The PCI:OA may prove useful as a motivational procedure, a basis for developing positive, goal-focused interventions, and a tool for outcome evaluation.

Keywords: goals; good lives model; motivation; prisoners; rehabilitation; risk-needs-responsivity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Division of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham, Duncan Macmillan House, Nottingham, UK 2: School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK 3: Centre for Psychology, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2008


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