A neuro-criminological study of the impact of the prison environment on inmates’ self-control. A longitudinal assessment during and after imprisonment

01 October 2022 → 30 September 2026
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Correctional theory, offender treatment and rehabilitation
    • Punishment and criminal justice
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Behavioural neuroscience
    • Cognitive neuroscience
Self-control Prison Criminology Neuroscience
Project description

Prisons are expected to deter, retaliate and protect society. They are also expected to prepare detainees for rehabilitation. Rehabilitation, however, depends on a life of quality with autonomy and self-control. So far, research about self-control has only focused on the negative impact of the prison environment on cognitive functions involved in the control of impulses. Prisons indeed are environments which often restrict autonomy and disempower inmates as it regulates all aspects of their daily life. As prisons also have a rehabilitative function, it is important to know if inmates’ trajectories in prisons and prison regimes can also enhance self-control. This study assesses the impact of prison environments on inmates’ self-control during and after detention, and describes how different prison regimes, trajectories and release relate to changes in self-control. The project unites methodological strengths and focus of both neuroscience and criminology in an interdisciplinary design.