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Effects of Moderate Physical Activity on Offenders in a Rehabilitative Program

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 57 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2006 Pages: 276-285
Meredith Nelson; Victoria L. Specian; Nancy Campbell Tracy; J. Jesse DeMello
Date Published
December 2006
10 pages
This study examined the relationship between physical activity and offender attitudes in the rehabilitative process.
This study demonstrated that physical activity produced positive benefits for offenders in the rehabilitation process. The majority of inmates surveyed (82 percent) indicated that they would continue to exercise upon release, constituting an additional positive step to productive, healthy, anti-criminal lifestyles. Positive mental and physical changes aid offenders in a stronger recovery and preparation for public/community life. The transition from the prison environment back into society is an extremely complicated and difficult process for many inmates. How inmates spend their time during incarceration assists them in successfully moving forward to a life as a productive citizen. Research indicates that exercise is the most beneficial key factor for health. It provides energy and improves the cardiovascular system while releasing tension. This pilot study was developed from beliefs that subjects in the Foxtrot treatment program would develop long-lasting health and socially accepted benefits. A questionnaire was developed to survey the offenders’ perceptions and attitudes regarding physical exercise as a treatment methodology. Data were collected in the fall of 2001. At the time of the study, 120 adult male offenders were participating in the treatment program. Tables, figure, references and appendix