Understanding the Outcome of Adverse Childhood Experiences of Inmates in State Prison

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of adverse childhood experiences in the incarcerated population. The researchers were interested in learning about the relationship between sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental illness, and homelessness to the outcome of being incarcerated. Methods: The subjects in the existing secondary data were obtained by conducting a survey from 2003-2004 with 14,499 state inmates. The researchers used SPSS to analyze specific variables selected from the secondary data. Results: The study showed 20.8% of inmates reported experiencing physical abuse prior to incarceration. In addition, 9.1% of inmates experienced homelessness, 35% of inmates experienced symptoms of mental illness, and nearly 12% of inmates considered suicide. Discussion and Implications: Many inmates from this study suffered from Adverse Childhood Experiences before the age of 18. This study illustrates the need for early intervention of mental health services to treat childhood trauma.