Does PTSD occur in sentenced prison populations? A systematic literature review

Psychology Services, New Horizons, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Slough, Berkshire, UK.
Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health (Impact Factor: 1.28). 07/2007; 17(3):152-62. DOI: 10.1002/cbm.653
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A systematic review of the literature on mental disorder in prisoners, published in 2002, made no mention of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but indicators from other studies suggest that a history of serious and chronic trauma is common among offenders.
To conduct a systematic review of the literature with the specific questions: does any epidemiological study of sentenced prisoners include data on prevalence of PTSD while in prison? If so, what is the prevalence in this group?
Literature databases EMBASE, Medline, PsychInfo, PILOTS and SIGLE were searched. The Journal of Traumatic Stress was searched manually. Preliminary screening was conducted by reading abstracts of hundreds of papers. Ten exclusion criteria were then applied to the screened selection. Reference sections of all accessed papers were searched for any further studies.
One hundred and three potentially relevant papers were identified after preliminary screening. Four met all criteria for inclusion and suffered none of the exclusion criteria. PTSD rates ranged from 4% of the sample to 21%. Women were disproportionately affected.
All four papers suggested that the prevalence of PTSD among sentenced prisoners is higher than that in the general population, as reported elsewhere. Overall the findings suggest a likely need for PTSD treatment services for sentenced prisoners.

1 Follower
  • Source
    • "Although there is now plentiful evidence of high rates of psychopathology among prisoners (Fazel and Seewald, 2012), there is little information available on some specific disorders, PTSD among them. Goff et al. (2007), in their systematic review, found that of 103 studies identified pertaining to mental health, only four examined PTSD; its prevalence ranged between 4% and 21%, but they did not analyse social or ethnic subgroups. Our aim, therefore, was to test for any relationship between PTSD and incarceration in a nationally representative sample of Black Americans. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In spite of an elevated prevalence of trauma histories among prisoners, there has been little research examining the relationship between incarceration and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); this is especially true for Black Americans. To examine relationships between PTSD and incarceration in a nationally representative sample of Black Americans. We conducted analysis of data from the National Survey of American Life sample of 5008 Black American adults in the USA. Multivariate logistic regression analyses controlling for demographic factors including age, gender, home region and education were conducted to examine whether incarceration status was independently associated with PTSD. Incarceration was significantly associated with trauma exposure, PTSD in the 12 months prior to interview and lifetime PTSD, even while controlling for demographic covariates. Incarceration, trauma exposure and PTSD share a significant number of risk factors and co-vary frequently in some populations, including the one of Black Americans investigated in this study. Interventions that can reduce shared risk factors for incarceration and PTSD and/or facilitate successful treatment of the established condition have the potential to make a large positive impact among incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health 03/2015; DOI:10.1002/cbm.1951 · 1.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "nt sexual victimization . For instance , incarcerated older adults are considered to be at the highest risk for victimization because of their decreasing ability to defend themselves against younger prisoners or staff ( Dawes , 2009 ) . Similarly , older adults in poor health are at a higher risk of sexual assaults in prison than younger inmates ( Goff et al . , 2007 ; Stojkovic , 2007 ) . Older adult offenders also have additional age - specific stressors , such as concerns over their failing health and fear of dying in prison ( Aday , 2006 ) , in addition to physi - cal handicaps and vulnerabilities that prevent self - defense . This cumulative effect of trauma and stress may have a significant ad"
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There has been a recent proliferation in the number of studies that are investigating the phenomenon that has been coined the victim-offender overlap. There has been noticeably less attention toward examining the sexual victimization and sex offending overlap. Acknowledging this gap in the literature, the present study provides an assessment of this overlap among a large sample of male prisoners with a focus on the cycle of violence hypothesis. Bivariate results reveal a considerable degree of overlap between sexual victimization and sex offending, and multivariate results estimated from a series of bivariate probit models simultaneously assessing both outcomes suggest that experiencing emotional abuse early on in the life-course is a robust risk factor for experiencing sexual victimization and demonstrating sex offending behavior. Furthermore, being physically neglected and witnessing family violence also emerged as significant risk factors for sexual victimization. Study limitations and policy implications are also discussed.
    International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology 07/2013; 58(12). DOI:10.1177/0306624X13496544 · 0.84 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "The proportion of the sample that developed PTSD following exposure to traumatic life events (20% current overall, with 30% of women and 17% of men; 31% lifetime with 66% of women and 25% of men) is intermediate relative to the correctional literature (Bosgelmez et al., 2010; Goff, Rose, Rose, & Purves, 2007; Komarovskaya et al., 2011; Marzano, Fazel, Rivlin, & Hawton, 2010; Teplin, 1994; Teplin, Abram, & McClelland, 1996; Warren et al., 2009; Zlotnick, 1997, 1999) and elevated compared with community samples (Breslau et al., 1991; Cottler et al., 2001; Kessler et al., 1995). Many studies conducted in correctional settings have provided evidence that women in these settings are significantly different from similarly situated men in that they are younger, with children, of minority status, socially disadvantaged, lacking in mental health treatment, more likely traumatized, and most commonly non-violent property offenders (van den Bergh et al., 2010; Bloom et al., 2003; Browne, Miller, & Maguin, 1999; Greenfeld & Snell, 2000; Kim et al., 2011; Kruttschnitt, 2010; Kurshan, 1996; Moloney et al., 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to quantify the relative contributions of gender and traumatic life experience to psychiatric disorders in a sample of 320 offenders entering a state prison. Women were more likely than men to report traumatic events and personal and family mental health treatment histories; and were more likely to meet criteria for posttraumatic stress, borderline personality, and eating disorders. People reporting traumatic life experiences were more likely than those not so reporting to have family mental histories and to meet criteria for mood, anxiety, psychotic, antisocial personality, and borderline personality disorders, as well as elevated suicide risk. With both gender and trauma included in the logistic regression models, only trauma was a significant predictor of mood, anxiety, psychotic, attention deficit hyperactivity, and antisocial personality disorders, as well as suicide risk. Trauma-informed programming, regardless of gender, is important for incarcerated offenders. To the extent that trauma is also criminogenic, these data suggest that women and men share the risk. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Behavioral Sciences & the Law 09/2012; 30(5):615-30. DOI:10.1002/bsl.2037 · 0.96 Impact Factor
Show more