Personality and social attitude correlates of violent prisoners

S. G. Shoham, J. J.M. Askenasy, G. Rahav, F. Chard, A. Addi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As for the connection between the prisoners' attitudes to their reference groups and to the official law enforcers both in prison and outside and between their professionality and their loyalty to the criminal subculture and thus to their violence and their particular type of violence, the typical professional criminal is one who knows how to serve out a sentence and has no illusions about the essence of the conflictual relations between prisoner and warden. He knows that the best way to sit out the imprisonment period with no problems is to become acquainted with the relations within the prison society and with the internal dynamics of the law-enforcement authorities and to reach a modus vivendi with them, irrespective of the external front these bodies present. The prisoners who tend towards situationally impulsive violence can be distinguished from these violent prisoners in that they tend to have more illusions about the nature of prisoner's groups and the intentions of the supervision agencies both in prison and outside. Their conception of dynamics between prisoners and the legal authorities is diffuse and unrealistic. It is possible that this is one reason why they find themselves in situations that led to violence. The professional criminal rejects violence that is not directed towards profitable endes, since unplanned and impulsive violence presents a threat to him too.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-286
Number of pages18
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988


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