An evaluation of anger management programs with violent offenders in two Australian states (volumes 1 and 2)

Criminology Research Council grant ; (37/98-9)

This report described a large number of findings. The studies confirm that high levels of anger exist in the prison population, so effective anger management programs are required. The anger management programs studied are, in general, producing very small effects, though the changes are in the right direction. Few statistically significant changes occur from pre- to post- group assessments, with the exception of improved anger knowledge. The treated groups do not improve significantly more than the untreated control group.

The general conclusion is that anger management programs have only a very modest impact in general but that some particular offenders benefit more than others. For this reason the report has recommended a constructive, developmental approach whereby the improvements brought about by anger management interventions can be enhanced. The future targeting of treatment on suitable participants appears to be the way forward.