Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work


Social Work


Mental illness within the offender population raises issues on many different levels. Although many attempts at systems changes have occurred the difficulty in treating mental illness within the offender population cannot be denied. This research looked specifically at the presence of post-traumatic stress symptoms in the offender population. A secondary data analysis analyzed 138 subjects who completed a thorough interview and completed a life events calendar. This study found that symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are prevalent among the offender population. Intrusiveness symptoms are present in response to internal and external cues as well as nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks. Avoidance symptoms can be found in high prevalence of substance use and arousal symptoms in acting out behaviors and hypervigilance. Dysfunction around affect regulation can also be seen in the prevalence of suicidal behaviors and self-harm. Events across the lifespan and environmental factors also raise significant concern. Social workers can use this information to effect change at the micro, mezzo and macro levels in order to provide effective care for offenders with mental illness and to uphold the integrity of the social work profession.

Included in

Social Work Commons