Date of Award

5-2002

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Abstract

This study has two primary objectives: first, to examine the characteristics of 75 offenders incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega, Alabama, using the Pre-sentence Investigation (PSI) Report data, and second, to delve into the phenomenology of the offenders through a lengthy interview process. To achieve these objectives, three offenders types were constructed based on criminal history analysis: First-time Offenders, Repeat Drug Offenders, and Mixed Multiple Offenders.

The study found that First-time Offenders were less deviant in all respects than the other two subtypes. First-time Offenders, hailing from lower-middle class environments, were relatively better educated, more skilled, employed for longer periods, and possessed more self-control than members of the other subtypes. First-time Offenders were frequently reared in intact homes with both parents present (or involved in their lives). Repeat Offenders had mostly drug convictions with or without traffic violations and misdemeanors charges. Mixed Multiple Offenders had lengthier arrest histories than other subtypes with a variety of convictions ranging from a simple battery to homicide, rape or armed robbery-indicating a more threatening, violent, and pervasive deviant and/or criminal lifestyle than First-time or Repeat Offenders. Unlike the First time Offenders, both the Repeat Drug Offenders and Mixed Multiple Offenders were relatively less educated, less skilled, employed for less periods of time or sporadically or irregularly employed, and were reared in lower class, broken homes environments with a larger number of family members present.

Findings from this study provide a more in-depth understanding of what criminal behavior means to those who commit criminal acts and their life circumstances under which it occurs. These findings will enable social workers to design and implement more effective intervention strategies to assist offenders with their behavioral problems

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