UNDERSTANDING U.S. MILITARY PAROLE VIOLATORS USING THE ASSESSMENT OF RIGHT CONDUCT
Nedegaard, R.C., 36 Medical Group and Hui, A., University of Guam, USA
Little is known about the factors that predict parole violation, especially within the U.S. Department of Defense's correctional system. Prior to 2001, all military parole violators, regardless of previous confinement, were sent to the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB), Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. A battery of psychological tests was used to assess mental health needs and inmate risk. The Assessment of Right Conduct (ARC) (Kilcullen, White, Sanders, and Hazlett, 1995) was included in this battery and was administered to all 184 inmates who began incarceration at the USDB between August 1999 and December 2000. The ARC is an 80-item self-report measure developed by the US Army Research Institute for assessing the test taker's likelihood of engaging in unethical or criminal behavior. It measures constructs such as social maturity, self-esteem, traditional values, manipulativeness, greed, hostility to authority, and response distortion. 53 parole violators were compared to 131 first-time prisoners. Parole violators were found to have significantly higher hostility to authority, greed, and manipulativeness. Additionally, parole violators had significantly lower social maturity and traditional values. Effect sizes were calculated and modest differences ranging from .35 to .52 were found. No differences were found in defensiveness scores on any instruments administered. The findings of this study suggest that the ARC may be useful in differentiating between first-time offenders and parole violators within the US military correctional system. Further research is needed to confirm if this instrument or others like it might accurately predict parole violation and/or recidivism.