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Managing the Manipulator: Inmates With Antisocial Personality Disorder  

Author:  Martin Drapkin.

Source: Volume 13, Number 02, January/February 2012 , pp.17-21(5)

Correctional Health Care Report

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Even if they are not acquainted with the formal definition, correctional officers confront it every day: antisocial personality disorder, “a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others” according to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV1. Individuals with antisocial behavior disorder present a lot of problems for correctional staff—they are diffi cult, volatile, sometimes assaultive, and often manipulative. They act out. They are the classic perpetrators of “con games” and are particularly skilled at playing one person against another to get what they want. They may make suicide attempts to manipulate staff into transferring them to better environments, either within the jail or outside. However, they may also make suicide attempts when genuinely depressed. It is not the job of correctional staff members to try to change such individuals. That is the job of professional therapists. Instead, the task of correctional staff is to try to manage and supervise such individuals effectively while they are incarcerated to ensure the maintenance of adequate security, safety, order, and control in the facility. Behavior management, not treatment, is the goal.

Keywords: dissension, Rewarding positive, Punishing negative, behavior management plan, contingencies, consequences, suicide

Affiliations:  .

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