Prisoners’ criminal thinking and perceptions on quality of life in prison as correlated with depression: The case of Jimma zone correctional center

Hussen Kemal and Dr. Aemero Asmamaw

This study relies on assessing of prisoners’ criminal thinking, perceptions of quality of their life in prison and their level of depression. It was carried out in Jimma Zone Correctional Center (JZCC). Out of 741 prisoners 253 were recruited by the sample size estimation formula. Regarding length of time they spent in prison, they were categorized into 56 short term prisoners and 197 long-term prisoners. For such data, Criminal Thinking Scale (CTS) and Measuring Quality of Prison Life (MQPL) were applied to measure the influence of criminal thinking and prisoners’ perceptions of quality of their prison life while Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to measure the depression level of JZCC prisoners. Results indicate that out of 253 prisoners 58 (22.92%) fell in the severe depression range, 23 (9.0%) in the moderate depression range, 110 (43.48%) in the mild depression range and 62 (24.51%) in the minimal or no depression range. Majority of JZCC prisoners who had shown symptoms of severe depression rated high criminal thinking and negative perceptions of their quality of life in the prison. In contrast, most of the prisoners with mild and minimal depression had low criminal thinking and positive perceptions of quality of their life in the prison. The correlation of criminal thinking and measures of depression inventory of the prisoners was .825. The correlation of MQPL and BDI of prisoners was -.857 and significant at 0.01 level which indicates the existence of a strong negative correlation. The current study also indicates that the frequency and mean score of having depression for the short-term prisoners was higher in the severe range but lower in the minimal depression level than those who were long-term prisoners. Overall the researchers have found that 79.3 % of the depression level of the prisoners was significantly accounted by prisoners’ age, time spent in prison, criminal thinking and perceptions of quality of their life in prison.

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   Vol. 07, Issue 02, February 2017



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