Helping Former Inmates Start Life after Incarceration
Effective intergration of principles from the four domains of phsychology can assist therapists in providing best solutions that will help prisoners intergrate perfectly to their respective communities upon release. There is a discussion on the importance of implementing psychiatric and counseling programs to achieve target behavior intervention measures within the society using a variety of psychological approaches (Gabbard & Freedman 2006). The approaches will be based on the four domains mentioned above and a discussion of how they can be best utilized to help former inmates prepare for life after release through targeted behavior interventions and behavior assessments of their functionality. For a successful behavior change among former inmates to be achieved, their needs to be a collaborative effort among the society, government and counselors.
There are various behavioral and educational interventions that a psychologist can use to achieve positive behavior traits among ex-prisoners. Psychological assistance to aid in their transition and reentry efforts will go a long way in helping achieve a change of behavior, perceptions and recover from the trauma that comes with incarceration. Usually, the long period people spent in prison exposes them to social, psychological and mental problems that need to be addressed for well-planned reentry programs to be successful(Strickland, 2016). A large number of ex-prisoners are re-arrested for new crimes or similar crimes that took them to prison in the first place. In most cases, this cycle of return and removal of a large number of prisoners mostly men are concentrated in small communities that face great social and economic disadvantages as a result (Strickland, 2016).
It poses high cost and especially the public safety dimension as these ex-convicts mostly demonstrate violent behaviors, abnormal behavior, and psychological issues. During their stay in prison, they lose contacts with their, friends, support networks, families etc that creates great challenge into their reentry process (Strickland, 2016). Most of them after their release have no clue where to begin life as they have no job, house, no health care and/or education among other demerits that may lead to abnormal behavior. Despite the effort being made by the government and the civil society to ensure that former inmates reenter the society as law-abiding citizens and with good mental condition, it is never the case and majority of these ex-convicts end back in prison or demonstrating unusual behavior and others may commit suicide.
Even with the extensive research on prisoner integration into the community, there are still gaps in the identification of the risk that dynamics psychotherapy needs to address to ease the challenge of life after prison. More research is required on the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs that try to help them achieve smooth transitioning. Women are likely to be infected in prison more than men (Wise, 2018). Behavioral Psychology. Psychologists are precisely interested in the way individuals behave. Behavioral psychologists believe that as people differ in their life experiences, they also differ in behavior and also acquire new personality traits. They tend to focus on what is causing them to behave the way they are doing. Management of anger is effective to the ex-prisoners through treatment, which would require social skills training that are effective in changing a particular situation (Ollendick, 2010).
Correctional officers who work with the offenders require extensive training. Therefore, training of officers requires communication skills, illustration and implementation of behavior modification techniques, relaxation methods and good skills which are efficient in listening and helping reduce problematic and most violent behavioral motives before the crisis. Meditation is one of the techniques used by the forensic analysts to help focus on achieving freedom and achieving relaxed breath free from distracting thoughts (Ollendick, 2010). Theories of behavioral psychology. He placed a hungry rat in the Skinner box that had a lever on the wall and as the rat paced in the box, it would knock the lever accidentally and a food pellet would drop into the box near the lever. After being put in the lever a few times the art would learn to head straight into the box.
The reward of food pellet was a positive reinforcement while hitting the lever was the behavior and the positive reinforcement strengthened the behavior by giving the rat (individual) a consequence that it felt rewarding. Negative reinforcement: Removal of a negative reinforcement can also strengthen behavior. A negative reinforcement is reinforcement that when it's removed, it removes an unpleasant effect which is a reward to the individual. Using the above theories, the psychologist(s) help former inmate prepare for his/her life after incarceration in the society. The psychologist(s) help the inmate learns set value traits for successful life after incarceration, the skills of decision making, the importance of establishing a relationship with people of good morals and ways of resisting temptation to abuse alcohol and other drugs, traits they didn't possess prior to their incarceration or took for granted (Arehart-Treichel, 2012).
Using the theories of behavioral psychology, the psychologist(s) help inmate learns the consequences of actions they take once they're released. Abnormal behavior Behavioral theory is used majorly in schools to achieve target intervention plans. It is usually achieved in two ways; one is positive reinforcement by rewarding those who demonstrate the good behavior and the other one is negative reinforcement through doing something unpleasant for those who have exhibited inappropriate behavior. He liked to argue, withdraw from group activities, verbally abuse others and was short-tempered (Gladstone, 1954). Ronny on the other hand also struggled with reading, math, and writing. He would get very aggressive in school and start throwing chairs, kick tables and other objects and also try to harm adults and his peers.
The kind of behavior demonstrated by the boys seemed to relate to someone who had difficulty retrieving and processing information or self-efficacy. The difficulties in personal judgment behavior are related to poor performance, inappropriate behavior. Collaboration: It is the sharing of resources, power, and authority among an organization where people are brought together to achieve a common goal that would be difficult for one person to achieve. The community will form teams that will work together to achieve behavior intervention plans for helping former inmates. The approach that the teams will adopt will be crucial to the success of curbing the abnormal behavior among the ex-convicts. All members should contribute to the planning and process of intervention. The plan must include environmental and instructional strategies that will facilitate positive change.
With ex-prisoners, there is a need for further research and effectiveness of reintegration and rehabilitation through doing therapy. Most prisoners have active suicidal thoughts and intents to take their lives; they also have homicidal ideas due to mental disorders. Psychologists and psychiatrists are on the call to respond to the crisis. Rehabilitation involves experience from the moment of inspection to the moment of release. During their time in prison, inmates usually have access to services, which help to support the secure and safe housing operations and the demands of the whole prison culture (Fereidooni at al, 2015). Cognitive behavior therapy helps individuals identify negative behaviors and beliefs and aid in replacing them with positive ones. Psychotherapy is of different form and can be used to mitigate various disorders.
However, it is a personalized process and requires a psychologist who is keen enough to identify the specific needs of every patient in order to recommend the best process. For example, while Cognitive behavior therapy can treat a variety of disorders, it may need adaptations in order to help a patient while in other cases; it may not be the best available option. Psychologists need to always challenge their own assumptions and thoughts to come up with the best treatment option for each client. Common psychotherapy services offered to former inmates include, anger management, drug and substance abuse counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, life skills training among others (Levy, 2011). However, these state offered services do not solve the real problem. The individuals need one-on-one experience with a psychotherapist to identify their personal needs and guide them accordingly.
The rehabilitation services work best when the individuals are living in the community according to researchers. Professional psychotherapists and counselors working with former inmates require specialized experience and training to work well with this population. Educational psychologists evaluate how people learn and come up with means and strategies for making the process more efficient. The psychologists study emotional, social and cognitive criteria applied in the learning process and apply their findings to improve the process of learning. Some focus the learning process of a particular group such as adults while others study the challenges that face learners such as attention disorders etc. they are basically interested in the methods of teaching, instruction and the different methods that can be used to teach various groups (Cureton, 1934).
Educational psychologists in an effort improve the learning process try to examine the following questions: How will age affect our ability to learn a new skill? Does the choice of a media platform affect learning? Is in-person learning different form remote learning? Does the time of the day when new information is introduced affect retention capability? Does culture influence how we process new ideas? (Cureton, 1934). For that reason, assessment should be done to determine which behavior needs to be tacked first. Most of the times, students with disabilities also depict signs of learning disorders (Steffens, 2015). Due to such interrelationships between different disabilities that have the potential of affecting learning, it is essential to involve a behavior specialist in determining which behavior to deal with.
Constructivism: Behavioral models may help understand and influence how students act, however, teachers also need to what the students are thinking and how to enrich their thoughts (Steffens, 2015). This goal can be achieved through constructivism which is a learning perspective focused on how students create knowledge how of life experiences. Today his ideas may seem mere like making sense, but they were really instrumental in shaping the learning processes in the twentieth century. Prison culture. The major function of a federal prison is to maintain a safe housing for the inmates and their security. The management of prisoners incarcerated at any level involves complex and multifaceted logistics to ensure that the primary of the prison is met on a day to day basis.
Apart from the provision of housing and securing the inmates, there are other functions that prisons undertake such as mental care, visitation, education and vocational training are other necessary activities that ensure prisons are run in an orderly manner (Stohr et al. Inside the federal prisons, inmates encounter challenges and demands from other inmates that may lead to the development of violent behavior. The culture and environment inside the prisons in most cases leads to victimization and violent behavior towards others. The negative experiences make it difficult for former inmates to reintegrate (Stohr et al. Some prisoners also learn that violence is a powerful survival tool during incarceration and even when they are released they rarely change unless psychiatric interventions are made.
Recidivism. Providing support to former inmates is essential in gaining desirable outcomes (Ollendick, 2010). A review of the literature shows prisons that incorporates social therapy programs in helping inmates cope with life within and outside the prison and to successfully reduce recidivism and abnormal behavior. Research has indicated that the success of any psychiatric intervention methods depends on whether the prison management buys the idea. Running rehabilitation programs inside the prisons is an expensive affair but research has shown that there are far-reaching benefits that come with those programs. Many ex-prisoners face tremendous reentry challenges after their release and find it difficult to get a meaningful employment opportunity. Attention to ex-offender behavioral patterns and psychiatric intervention measures can help instill positive behavior in the former inmates and help them cope well in their new environment.
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