Assessing the therapeutic climate of prisons

Criminology Research Council grant: (02/09-10)

Correctional administrations across Australia have, in recent years, dedicated considerable resources to the development of offender rehabilitation programs. Whilst few controlled evaluations of Australian correctional programs have been conducted, there is a long history of anecdotal and ethnographic observations relating to the nature of prison cultures and their possible deleterious effects on rehabilitative outcomes. This project aims to investigate the social climate of Australian prison units; validate a brief scale (the EssenCES) for assessing prison social climates; provide a comparison between different types of unit; and develop recommendations for improving the therapeutic context in which rehabilitation programs are offered.