Life‐long trauma histories and PTSD symptoms in 26 life sentence prisoners detained in a British Category B prison were examined. Prisoners were categorised on the basis of whether index offence violence resulted in human fatality, and whether reactive or instrumental violence was used in the index offence. Symptom measures included the Impact of Events Scale ‐ Revised and the Posttraumatic Stress Diagnostic Scale. Eight prisoners (31%) met all DSM‐IV criteria for current PTSD diagnosis. Partial PTSD was common in the remaining prisoners. Number of PTSD symptoms was unrelated to both the act of killing and the nature of violence. The rate of trauma prior to index offences was positively related to intrusive, avoidant and hyperarousal symptoms attributed by the prisoners to their index offence. The results suggest that prior trauma sensitised prisoners' traumatic reactions to their offences.
Payne, E., Watt, A., Rogers, P. and McMurran, M. (2008), "Offence characteristics, trauma histories and post‐traumatic stress disorder symptoms in life sentenced prisoners", The British Journal of Forensic Practice, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 17-25. https://doi.org/10.1108/14636646200800004Download as .RIS
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