Exploring the Personalities of Convicted Criminals

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For many years, law enforcement and other officials have had problems with the criminals and inmates they control. People from all walks of life commit crimes. Some of these crimes are small and insignificant, and some of them are gruesome and horrible. Violent offenders and non-violent offenders have many similarities but also some differences. One of the main differences is that, 80% of the two million people in prison and jail are male, and 80% of those are violent offenders (Lewis, 2010). This is the vast majority of offenders, and there are way more violent offenders than non-violent offenders. What personality traits are more prominent in violent offenders than in non-violent offenders? If there were a clear-cut way to peer into the mind of a violent offender than it would have been done already. The value of specifically identifying the personality traits of violent offenders is huge. Research has shown that reduced central serotonin (5-HT) functioning is related to impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and violent behavior (Retz, Retz-Junginger, Supprian, Thome, Rösler, 2004). This is important because if the levels of serotonin could be regulated than the level of aggression could be controlled. This would be very beneficial to the rehabilitation efforts of prison and jail officials. Some Personality traits are quite obvious to be common in a violent person. Things such as aggressiveness and impulsiveness are obvious, but some others may not be. Things like Psychopathic tendencies, or even having an arrogant self-appraisal and feeling as though work is beneath them are all common as well. Of the men that commit violent crimes, most of them meet the criteria for conduct disorder by the age of 10, and have antisocial tendencies (... ... middle of paper ... ...erry, M. P. (1992). The aggression questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452-459. Durose, Matthew R., Mumola, Christopher J. (2004) Profile of Nonviolent Offenders Exiting State Prisons. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Fact Sheet, 1-4. Hodgins, Sheilagh. (2007). Persistent violent offending: what do we know? The British Journal of Psychiatry, 190:s12-s14. Lewis, C. F. (2010). Childhood antecedents of adult violent offending in a group of female felons. Behavioral Sciences & The Law,28(2), 224-234. doi:10.1002/bsl.929 Retz, W., Retz-Junginger, P., Supprian, T., Thome, J., & Rösler, M. (2004). Association of serotonin transporter promoter gene polymorphism with violence: relation with personality disorders, impulsivity, and childhood ADHD psychopathology. Behavioral Sciences & The Law, 22(3), 415-425. doi:10.1002/bsl.589

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