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Assessing the Relationship between Exposure to Violence and Inmate Maladjustment Within and Across State Correctional Facilities: Final Report

“Offenders are exposed to violence at higher rates than the general population. Whether exposure to violence contributes to subsequent maladjustment once these individuals are incarcerated, however, is unclear ... Inmate maladjustment [the inability of inmates to cope with confinement] threatens the safety and order of correctional institutions, so a thorough understanding of the relative effects of exposure to different forms of violence on maladjustment is important to prison/correctional facility administrators. Using data from the Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities and the Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, we examined the relationship between exposure to violence and maladjustment within and across state operated prisons and correctional facilities in the United States.” Results are presented for: analyses of exposure (direct and indirect) to violence and maladjustment; inmate-level effects on maladjustment; and the main and moderating facility-level effects on maladjustment. The exposure to violence an inmate experiences prior to incarceration increases that inmate’s level of maladjustment with little change across various types of correctional institutions.