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From The CriticsReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes the prevalence and characteristics of convicted offenders who have been traumatized in childhood and/or adulthood, prior to being incarcerated. For the most part, it focuses on female prisoners. The book has been co-published simultaneously as Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Volume 8, Number 2 2007.
Purpose: The editors note, "violent crimes, including homicide, sexual assault and robbery, were more prevalent among men and women reporting prior abuse (although these crimes were far more likely to have been committed by men than by women)." This book, therefore, "presents a multifaceted look at the individuals behind statistics such as these, with literature reviews, case studies, results of empirical studies, models for intervention, and issues for researchers and clinicians working within a correctional system with survivors of complex trauma who manifest with a myriad of post-traumatic and dissociative symptom pictures.
Audience: Their primary goal is to "inform and educate readers engaged in research, therapy, education, and public policy about the 'pathways to prison.'" Dr. Quina, a professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Rhode Island, has researched childhood trauma for over 30 years. Dr. Brown has published extensively on trauma and other topics.
Features: The authors explore topics such as the relationship of lifetime polysubstance dependence and trauma exposure, trauma among female inmates with HIV risk and alcohol use disorders, dissociation and memory, and effectiveness of time-limited therapy among incarcerated women survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The majority of the research presented is with females from prisons in the Northeast. The drawback of this book is that it only superficially addresses the topic, but in an edited book of only eight chapters, it is difficult to be thorough. The researchers describe their studies and present their results, in 20 pages or less. This book will whet the appetite but readers will have to look elsewhere for more information.
Assessment: This book addresses an important topic, but I would have liked a more thorough treatment. The editors and authors do a nice job of presenting research results in order to better understand convicted offenders who have been traumatized prior to their incarceration.