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Confabulation in Correctional Settings: An Exploratory Review

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This article addresses a little understood issue in corrections-confabulation. "Confabulation can be described as a disruption in normal memory function, whereby the individual unintentionally distorts or fabricates imaginary or non-experienced events without intent to deceive or lie ... In other words, individuals who inaccurately integrate incorrect information into their memory and/or subsequently present such information as fact are demonstrating confabulation ... Individuals who confabulate are unaware of the falsehood of their statements" (p. 1). Sections of this review include: introduction and overview; diagnostic comorbidity; diagnostic clarification-confabulation and malingering, delusions, or lying; confabulation within correctional settings and important reminders for correctional staff to keep in mind, confabulation in the criminal justice system and possible consequences, clinical considerations, and suggested approaches, and conclusion. "Although confabulation can create significant issues within clinical and forensic settings, the rate of its actual incidence is unknown ... Inmates who confabulate may create significant challenges for correctional staff. As a result, correctional professionals are strongly encouraged to understand the risk factors associated with confabulation within offender population" (p. 5).