Institutional aggression as a predictor of violent recidivism: Implications for parole decision making

Jessica Mooney, Michael David Daffern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Assessing risk for future violence in incarcerated offenders is a complex task, one which members of parole boards routinely undertake when they consider the suitability of an offender for release. Among the factors shown to influence parole board decision making is institutional aggression. However, several factors complicate the use of institutional aggression as a proxy for violent behavior following release. This includes environmental influences that may promote or suppress aggression during incarceration, and the process of adaptation to imprisonment that is characteristic of those who are imprisoned for extended periods. Furthermore, the extant research exploring the link between institutional aggression and post-release recidivism has produced varied results. This literature review examines the factors shown to impact on parole release decisions, how the decision-making process has evolved over time, and the use of violence risk assessment approaches to this task. The link between aggressive behavior in custody and aggression within the community is explored, along with the implications this holds for parole decision making and violence risk assessment in incarcerated offenders. The emergent Offence Paralleling Behaviour framework is introduced here as a method that may support the risk assessment process and guide the identification and monitoring of relevant violence risk-related behavior in custody. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-63
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Forensic Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Offence paralleling behavior
  • Parole
  • Risk assessment
  • Violence

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