The psycho-social environment (PSE) of prisons and its relationship to recidivism
- November 2000
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The interaction between rehabilitation program effectiveness and the psycho-social environment of prisons is quite remarkably under-investigated, even though those who deliver rehabilitation programs in prison settings readily confirm the many and serious ways in which program effectiveness can be impaired by some features of some prison cultures. This report reviews ways of conceptualising and assessing the prison psycho-social environment, including staff / prisoner relationships and attitudes; sets out three critical research questions that need to be answered; and discusses two potential research designs, the kind of rehabilitation program and the prison setting to be investigated, and how program outcomes should be evaluated.