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Post Incarceration Syndrome Research Paper

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Updated: Mar 22nd, 2022

This is has been confirmed to be a problem that causes relapse in former inmates who might be mentally ill and addicted. Research has proven that, at the moment, 60% of inmates have been in jail before and post incarceration syndrome is evident to be the cause of this behavior. The concept of this syndrome has been developed by clinical consultation work together with other related programs. These programs include those dealing with currently incarcerated prisoners and released prisoners (grassian 1451).

Operational definition

Set of symptoms present in existing incarcerated inmates and recently released inmates caused by prolonged confinement in areas of castigation with scares opportunities for occupation training, therapy and tutoring.

However, the symptoms have been evident to be severe in inmates who have served long sentences and those that have undergone stern abuse while in prison. There are number factors that determine the severity of symptoms; one is the duration an inmate is imprisoned. Similarly, the number of times an inmate is abused also contributes a lot.

It is noteworthy that coping skills prior to the imprisonment of the inmate is also a factor that determines the severity of the syndrome in an inmate. Another factor that contributes towards this cause is the number of times the inmate has been jailed. In addition, the degree in participation in therapy, tutoring and vocational programs also determine the severity of the symptoms (Gal, 750).


One symptom is the institutionalized personality traits caused by residing in a tyrannical surrounding that dictates on compliance to the authority, acceptance to the forbidden deeds in life, the abolition of individuals autonomy to make decisions and forceful alteration of an individual’s lifestyle.

Another symptom of post incarceration syndrome is post traumatic stress disorder caused by the horrific experiences before imprisonment and the abuses undergone during confinement. There is also a symptom is antisocial personality traits caused by the behavior developed during imprisonment as a mental defense mechanism.

Furthermore, the individual might develop the social-sensory deprivation syndrome as a result of the protracted confinement; thus, isolation and memory loss. In some cases reactive substance use disorders is also developed as most of the inmates were drug addicts before imprisonment and did not undergo treatment, some develop their addiction while in prison. These inmates continue their addiction through illegal acquirement of the drugs while in prison (Grassian, 1450).

Reducing incidences

This syndrome has been evident to be caused by the programs in the correctional department. Where as these programs are directed at stopping crime and correct the inmates behavioral at times they end up making the individual worse. Hence, this can be reduces and eliminated in future by changing the policies that govern the correction departments (grassian, 1453).


Grassian, Stuart, Psychopathological effects of solitary confinement, American Journal of Psychiatry, 140, 1450 – 1454 (1983)

Gal, Reuven & Mangelsdorff, David. Handbook of military psychology. Michigan. University of Michigan press. 2009 750

Dow, Mark. American gulag: inside U.S. immigration prisons. California. University of California. 2005 136-140

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