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Exercise and the Brain


Assessing the role of neuropsychological functioning in inmates’ treatment response by Fishbein, D. & Sheppard, M.

Study objectives

Inmates are one group of people who can be difficult to deal with. Investigations done clinically prove that the process of thinking of inmates is becoming dysfunctional. There are perceptions of some social cue, as well as regulations on how responses to emotional, provocative and stressful situations are done. The objectives of this study were to identify the differences that existed in ECF (executive cognitive functions) and emotional perceptions of inmates. Further, the research was meant to find out how the inmates were regulated. This was in regard to their responses to standard therapies meant to correct them. The approaches of these therapies are in most cases cognitive-behavioral. There are those whose response to these therapies is good while for others it is poor. Thus, the study was conducted to make an identification of such differences.


The research was also meant to help in the development of a tool for assessment. According to Fishbein & Sheppard (2006) this would find use in clinical as well as correctional settings so as to help in the identification of aggressive and offenders with cognitive problems who further posed high risks in the institution. This is a group of inmates who need more customized and intensive approaches in handling them. Further, the research was meant to enhance the possibility of improving the policies in the criminal justice.


Methods used

The research made age adjustment with considerations for general neuropsychological function, previously incarcerated time and previous use of drugs. For the research, 224 male inmates were selected. The inmates selected were those between the ages of 21 and 49 years. The older inmates were not used for the research since natural ageing comes with cognitive decline. Further, the issue of the time that the inmate had to be in prison was considered. Participants were those inmates who still had at least 1.5 years of sentence left. This consideration was meant to ensure that pre-release stress preparations as well as transfer potentials did not affect the study. Further, the selected participants were those not mentally retarded or illiterate. This is because the illiteracy or mental retardation could interfere with the results because such inmates may not have an understanding of the inference of consent. Sampling was also done in a diverse way in that races were not considered in the selection of participants.


Results and conclusion

The research revealed that inmates who were found to have shortages in emotional and cognitive regulatory responded poorly to standardized correctional treatment. This was reflected in poor retention and engagement. Further, there were repeated violations of in the institution. In the analyses of effects of previous drug use and the determination of the how the effect of drug use and ECF treatment interacted, the results did no find any meaningful relationships. Further, the age of the inmate was also a determining factor for their cognitive shortage. For instance, young inmates responded in a better way to treatment.


It was found out that though there was an instrument that was used in the predictions of misconducts within institutions, it does not cover those who are not psychopathic. Thus, there was need for a screening test so as to help in the predictions of misconduct, relapse due to abuse of drugs and also give information on the shortages that were preventing outcomes which were positive. Therefore the results further showed that there are certain characteristics of individuals which could be used to make positive differences of offenders affected by the correctional therapies and those not affected.


From the objectives of the research, it was aimed at helping in the development of an assessment tool. The research then showed that the development of such tools could be used in clinical as well as correctional settings. This would be effective in the identification of those offenders who were not likely to show responses to the approaches that were used for treatment. This then would also find use in provision of readiness programs for treatment or in the designing of new treatments. Further, it would equip offenders with personal skills for ensuring personal behavior control other than being externally restrained.


It was observed that when there was active involvement in treatment, fewer crimes were committed. In the same way, there was observed to be less maladjustment in terms of behavior for those inmates who were in treatment for long periods of time (Fishbein & Sheppard, 2006). This is because crimes and maladjustment can be related to the idleness of the mind. Once the human mind is made active, there are limited chances of the person thinking of misconduct. Further, the treatment is used to correct their minds which may have been previously corrupted by other external factors and thus resulting to crime and misconduct.


In conclusion, the objectives of the research study were met. The researcher was able to determine the differences in ECF, the relationship between previous drug use and misconduct in institutions as well as how an assessment tool could be used in both clinical and correctional settings. The outcomes of treatment were a measure of advanced treatment planning. According to the observed results, it is concluded that treatment is essential in the management of the conduct of criminals. However, the development of a specific and sensitive test for screening could be used in the prediction of misconduct in the institution.


Reference

Fishbein, D. & Sheppard, M. (2006). Assessing the role of neuropsychological functioning in inmates’ treatment response. Retrieved on April 25, 2011 from: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/216303.pdf.


 
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