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Using General Strain Theory To Explore the Effects of Prison Victimization Experiences on Later Offending and Substance Use

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: Online First Dated: December 2014
Janine M. Zweig; Jennifer Yahner; Christy A. Visher; Pamela K. Lattimore
Date Published
December 2014
6 pages
This study examined the relationship between victimization during incarceration and the likelihood of former prisoners' subsequent criminal behavior and substance use from a general strain theory (GST) perspective.
Data from the multi-site evaluation of the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative were used, involving interviews with 543 men and 168 women in 12 states at four time points: once before prison release and three times after release. Path analyses show support for GST by indicating that prisoners who are physically assaulted or threatened have negative emotional reactions to such experiences, specifically hostility and depression, which increases their likelihood of violent criminal behavior and substance use after release. (Publisher abstract modified)