This article addresses two fundamental questions: 1) Can we accurately identify a subgroup of high risk inmates who will likely be involved in various forms of prison violence; and if so, 2) Is there an empirical research supporting the contention that current classification systems reduce the risk posed by those offenders predicted to be violent (such as gang/security threat group members)? Based on a review of the empirical evidence from the past two decades, we conclude that current classification strategies do not predict prison violence very accurately and perhaps more importantly, they do not appear to reduce the risk of violence in prison. New classification systems focusing on changing - rather than controlling - offenders while in prison represent one possible alternative strategy, given recent evidence that participation in prison programming/treatment is the most effective prison violence reduction strategy currently available.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health