Title

Examining Locus of Control as it Relates to Recidivism

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

15-5-2019

End Date

15-5-2019

Abstract

Recidivism is a persistent problem and consideration in the American criminal justice system. Investigating the antecedents and influences to this criminal re-offense and repeat incarceration problem is not only necessary for improving public safety, but also for improving the lives and futures of incarcerated persons. To investigate possible antecedents, we worked with four Washington State county jails to administer exploratory surveys to currently incarcerated inmates. The surveys examined whether there was any connection between the number of times a person has been involved with the law (arrests, incarceration, other sentencing, etc.) and the externalization of locus of control. This latter factor is defined as an individual’s belief they have little or no control over the events in their life. We investigated external locus of control with specific respect to involvement with the law, the prospect of future incarceration, and feelings concerning the overall cause of original and/or sustained legal involvement. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between involvement with the law and external locus of control. An analysis of inmate surveys using parametric and non-parametric statistical methods tested this hypothesis, revealing important information concerning legal involvement frequency and external locus of control. The implications of this information for offender cognition, rehabilitation prospects, and future criminal justice system directions will be discussed.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Danielle Polage

Department/Program

Psychology

Tasha Lightning_Psyc_SOURCE Presentation.pptx (416 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Lightning

Additional Files

Tasha Lightning_Psyc_SOURCE Presentation.pptx (416 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Lightning

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May 15th, 12:00 AM May 15th, 12:00 AM

Examining Locus of Control as it Relates to Recidivism

Ellensburg

Recidivism is a persistent problem and consideration in the American criminal justice system. Investigating the antecedents and influences to this criminal re-offense and repeat incarceration problem is not only necessary for improving public safety, but also for improving the lives and futures of incarcerated persons. To investigate possible antecedents, we worked with four Washington State county jails to administer exploratory surveys to currently incarcerated inmates. The surveys examined whether there was any connection between the number of times a person has been involved with the law (arrests, incarceration, other sentencing, etc.) and the externalization of locus of control. This latter factor is defined as an individual’s belief they have little or no control over the events in their life. We investigated external locus of control with specific respect to involvement with the law, the prospect of future incarceration, and feelings concerning the overall cause of original and/or sustained legal involvement. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between involvement with the law and external locus of control. An analysis of inmate surveys using parametric and non-parametric statistical methods tested this hypothesis, revealing important information concerning legal involvement frequency and external locus of control. The implications of this information for offender cognition, rehabilitation prospects, and future criminal justice system directions will be discussed.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/15