Is there a recognizable post-incarceration syndrome among released “lifers”?

Terence T. Gorski developed a construct for counseling long-term offenders returning to the community which he called THE POST INCARCERATION SYNDROME (PICS).

A study conducted by Marieke Lima and Maarten Kunst reviewed Gorski’s PICS model which suggests that some released prisoners experience a unique set of mental health symptoms related to, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder. They sought to empirically assess whether there is a recognizable post-incarceration syndrome that captures the unique effects of incarceration on mental health.

They conducted in-depth life interviews with 25 released “lifers” (individuals serving a life sentence), who served an average of 19 years in a state correctional institution.

They assessed to what extent the symptoms described by the participants overlapped with other mental disorders, most notably PTSD.

They found that a specific cluster of mental health symptoms that is related to long-term incarceration. In addition to PTSD, this cluster was characterized by:

1. Institutionalized personality traits,
2. Social–sensory disorientation, and
3. Alienation.

Our findings suggest that post-incarceration syndrome constitutes a discrete subtype of PTSD that results from long-term imprisonment.

Recognizing Post-Incarceration Syndrome (PICS) may allow for more adequate recognition of the effects of incarceration and treatment among former inmates and ultimately, successful re-entry into society.

ON THE INTERNET:
The Psychological Impact of Incarceration: Implications for Post-Prison Adjustment The Psychological Impact of Incarceration: Implications for Post-Prison Adjustment
Craig Haney
University of California, Santa Cruz
December 2001
http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/prison2home02/haney.htm

Comprehensive Incarcerated Persons Reform,Rehabilitation, And Reentry Act
(C.I.P.R.A.), Presented To Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Governor of The State of New York
http://www.realcostofprisons.org/writing/cipra.doc

PICS Article In Science Direct
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160252713000344

The Psychological Impact of Incarceration: Implications for Post-Prison Adjustment:
The Psychological Impact of Incarceration: Implications for Post-Prison Adjustment Craig Haney University of California, Santa Cruz December 2001 http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/prison2home02/haney.htm

2 Responses to Is there a recognizable post-incarceration syndrome among released “lifers”?

  1. Johnb984 says:

    An fascinating dialogue is value comment. I believe that it is best to write more on this matter, it might not be a taboo topic but generally individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers aakdbbgdceed

    • Terry Gorski says:

      Thank you. I am glad my writing helps. Please spread the word by passing the blogs you find most helpful onto others by reposting them. It is important to keep the message that recovery is possible out there and to share concrete and specific recovery tools. Thank you for your help.

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