The Effects of Exposure to Violence on Inmate Maladjustment

Benjamin Meade, Benjamin Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Offenders are exposed to violence at higher rates than the general population. Yet little is known about whether exposure to violence affects offenders' adjustment to incarceration. Using a nationally representative sample of inmates housed in secure confinement facilities, we examine the relative effects of exposure to different types of violence prior to incarceration (e.g., physical assault, sexual assault, child abuse) on inmate maladjustment. Results indicate that exposure to violence prior to incarceration influences individuals' odds of maladjustment during imprisonment, and that abuse as a child and physical victimization by a nonstranger as an adult are particularly robust predictors of maladjustment. Implications of these findings for future research and correctional practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1228-1249
Number of pages22
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • exposure to violence
  • inmate
  • maladjustment
  • prison
  • victimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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