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Treating Criminal Psychopaths in a Therapeutic Community Program

NCJ Number
Behavioral Sciences and the Law Volume: 8 Issue: 2 Dated: (Spring 1990) Pages: 181-190
J R P Ogloff; S Wong; A Greenwood
Date Published
According to data from a Therapeutic Community (TC) treatment program for adult male offenders, psychopaths showed less clinical improvement, were less motivated, and were discharged from the program earlier than non-psychopaths.
Subjects included 80 Federal male inmates (mean age = 26.90 years, SD = 6.77) serving sentences for two or more years. The TC program appears to have positive effects on the non-psychopath and mixed subjects, which may in fact explain psychopaths' early attrition. The psychopaths' reasons for seeking treatment may be purely administrative, and their attrition may be an escape from the constructive confrontations to their attitudes and behaviors. Although psychopaths tend to resist treatment, rehabilitative efforts should not be withdrawn from the inmate population. Acknowledgements, appendix, and 26 references. (Author abstract modified)