Young men alcohol and violence a poisonous relationship dr linda blud lmb consultancy ltd
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Young Men, Alcohol and Violence: A poisonous relationship? Dr Linda Blud, LMB Consultancy Ltd. Alcohol misuse contributes to a variety of criminal behaviours and costs an estimated £7.3bn per year. Alcohol is strongly associated with crime and violent crime in particular.

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Why an alcohol programme for prisoners l.jpg

Alcohol misuse contributes to a variety of criminal behaviours and costs an estimated £7.3bn per year.

Alcohol is strongly associated with crime and violent crime in particular.

A large number of prisoners were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their offence and many (2/3 of male prisoners) were hazardous drinkers in the year prior to incarceration.

The Government introduced an Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy in 2004, and in line with this HM Prison Service has developed an Alcohol Strategy for Prisoners.

Poly-substance users in prison have access to accredited programmes, but there is no programme available currently specifically addressing alcohol-related offending.

Why an alcohol programme for prisoners?


Why a programme specifically targeting alcohol use and offending l.jpg

Alcohol use, unlike illicit drug use, isn’t a crime. People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Use of alcohol in prison is much less common than continued use of drugs in prison. Usually, problem drinkers will be abstinent during their sentence.

Risk of relapse into alcohol use in open conditions and on release is high

Outside prison, access to alcohol, and the contexts and situations in which alcohol use can occur, are very different from those existing in relation to illicit drug use.

Why a programme specifically targeting alcohol use and offending?


Phase 1 l.jpg
Phase 1: People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

  • Literature review

  • Needs analyses

  • Focus Groups


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Target Group People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Male offenders

  • Young men are particularly likely to engage in alcohol-related crime

  • Drinking patterns and crime vary with age

  • Younger male binge drinkers are more likely to commit a violent offence than other young adults

Aged 18-30


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Target Group People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Convicted for alcohol-related violent crimes

  • Targeting the relationship between alcohol and violent crime

  • Offering a choice in terms of drinking goals

Alcohol in the event

Hazardous drinking rather than dependency


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Target Group People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Short and longer-term offenders

  • Modules 1-4 can be completed at any point during sentence.

  • Module 5 can be delivered as a follow-on from Modules 1-4, or at a later date (prior to a move to open conditions or release) as a “booster” programme.

Time left to serve


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Phase 2: People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

  • Developing the programme

  • Running a pilot group


Model of change relationship between alcohol and violence l.jpg
Model of Change: People aren’t in prison for using alcoholRelationship between Alcohol and Violence


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Predisposing factors: People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Personality, trait aggression,

Impulsivity, family history

  • Learned behaviours:

  • Beliefs, attitudes and outcome expectancies about alcohol and violence

  • Poor problem solving and decision making skills

  • Poor emotional management and coping skills

Hazardous

alcohol use

Violence

Hazardous alcohol use

Environment:

Role models, macho culture,

social contexts, type of drink, dosage

(large city centre venues, binge drinking)

Violence

  • Effects of Alcohol:

  • Alters cognitive functioning

  • (increased sensitivity to threat,

  • reduced awareness of consequences, etc.)

  • Increases psychomotor activity

  • Reduces inhibitory effect of fear

  • Acts as an analgesic (feel no pain) OR

  • increases pain sensitivity and defensiveness

  • Exacerbates angry aggression

  • Reinforces expectations

  • Excuses aggression

Increased risk of Violence

McMurran et al 2006


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Treatment Targets People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Poor emotional Management and lack of skills to deal with negative feelings

Motivation: What drink problem?

Beliefs, attitudes and outcome expectancies about alcohol and aggression

Contexts, relationships and lifestyle supporting problematic alcohol use and violence

Poor decision-making and problem-solving skills


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Risk-Needs Model People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Dynamic risk factors associated with recidivism are systematically targeted in treatment and the intensity of treatment delivered is related to each offender’s assessed level of risk.

Andrews and Bonta (1998)


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Criminogenic People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

(dynamic risk factors)

Pro-criminal attitudes

Criminal associates

Substance abuse

Anti-social personality

Problem-solving skills

Hostility-anger

Non-criminogenic

Self-esteem

Anxiety

Feelings of alienation

Psychological discomfort

Group cohesion

Criminogenic vs non-criminogenic needs

From Ogloff (2002)


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Risk-Needs Model: criticisms People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

  • Focuses on negative/avoidant treatment goals

  • “One size fits all” approach

  • Relationship between risk and human needs

  • Treatment Readiness

  • Ignores facilitator factors


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Social Context and Role Models People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Attitudes, Beliefs and outcome expectancies supporting violence/alcohol link

Victim Stance Thinking Traps:

Magnifying, labelling

Entitlement Thinking Traps:

Shoulds and musts Fortune Telling

Impulsivity, poor emotional management

Reinforcement

Reinforcement

Alcohol and violence

Loses/Caught

& punished

Wins/Gets

away with it


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The “Good Lives” Model People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Offender Programmes should be

guided by a conception of “good lives”

The emphasis in treatment should

be on goals and the internal/external

conditions necessary to achieve them

Treatment needs to have a more

individual focus

Ward, 2002


Primary human goods good life needs based on ward 2002 l.jpg

Health and Life People aren’t in prison for using alcohol

Usefulness

Inner Peace

Fun

Independence

Relationships

Purpose

Primary Human Goods(Good Life Needs) (based on Ward, 2002)


Barriers and traps based on ward 2002 l.jpg

The means used to secure primary goods (secondary goods: goals and strategies)

Lack of scope

Conflict among goals

Lack of skills/ability to adapt

Barriers and Traps(based on Ward, 2002)


Slide19 l.jpg

Module 4 : Reducing the risk of angry, impulsive decisions via problem solving and social skills training

ACTION PLAN: developing relapse management strategies

CHECK-INS: Practising objectivity

WORKING TOWARDS A GOOD LIFE MODEL

Module 5: Making learning real, relevant and realistic: by offering “try-outs”

Alcohol-Violence

Link

Living a Good Life Sessions

Living a Good Life Sessions

Module 1: Challenging beliefs attitudes outcome expectancies supporting violence/alcohol

Module 3: Breaking

free from embedded ties to

harmful social contexts

and role models.

Module 2: Breaking the link

between negative mood

negative thinking

Case Studies: exploring the impact of alcohol


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Break the alcohol-violence link via problem solving and social skills training

Throughout the programme– to increase motivation

Check-ins

Key Tools

Living a Good Life Sessions

Individualised

Future-oriented

Focus on important

life goals

Action Plans

Case Studies


Living a good life sessions l.jpg
Living a Good Life Sessions via problem solving and social skills training

  • 7 sessions

  • At the start of each module

  • At the end of the final two modules

  • Motivational

  • Focusing on goals and the achievement of a “good life”

  • Focuses on developing an action plan for the future that can aid in relapse management

  • Builds self-efficacy

  • Challenges the positives of drunkenness and aggression

Alcohol Programme


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Tools: Check-ins via problem solving and social skills training

  • A simple objective factual description of the situation.

  • A description of the different thoughts they had

  • A description of their feelings

  • A factual description of how they behaved and what their goals were at the time.

  • Teaches objectivity

  • Provides a way of illustrating the role played by aggression and violence when alcohol’s not present


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Additional tools: via problem solving and social skills trainingCase Studies

The same character is followed throughout the programme

Provides concrete examples

Provides a non-threatening way of illustrating the impact of alcohol on thoughts, feelings, actions.

Provides a non-threatening method of teaching skills


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The Pilot via problem solving and social skills training

  • The relationship with alcohol and violence seems to be very resistant to change.

  • Most want to continue using alcohol and they don’t seem to want to give up violence.


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Cementing the Relationship: via problem solving and social skills training

Drinking environment?

Social Environment?

Cultural Environment?


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Drinking Environment: via problem solving and social skills training

Maximum volume vertical drinking venues


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“These men were part via problem solving and social skills training

of a culture that encouraged drinking, where going out drinking was an evening’s activity.

Moreover there are indications that their crime sprees were linked to binge drinking.

Fighting in bars was part of the drinking culture as well.”

Sampson and Laub, 2003, p 186 reporting

on 1950s/60s America


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Social Environment via problem solving and social skills training

“What am I? What do you look at? Nothing.

A piece of shit”

Arthur, 65

“What I done here is a success story.

I have no education whatsoever,

I have no grammar school, no high school.

No nothing. In plain English. I done all the shit

jobs because I had no education.

Worked every day in my life.

Whenever I lost one job I got another.

No I think I done pretty goddamn good”

Michael, 63


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Social Environment via problem solving and social skills training

Opportunities vs meanings

Redemption or Condemnation?

Maruna (2002)


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Cultural Environment via problem solving and social skills training

Climate of Distrust:

Get them before they get you


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the myth of the bogeyman… via problem solving and social skills training

See Maruna, S (2000)