1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University 1st Faculty of Medicine Charles University Department of Psychiatry

Transformation of personality of offenders during imprisonment

Research Area:


Forensic Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry


Doctoral project name:


Transformation of personality of offenders during imprisonment




Ilja ┼Żukov, MD, PhD.


Short project description:


     The goal of research is the analyse of motivation structure and needs of criminal subculture and their transformation during and by impact of imprisonment. An attention will be focused on prisonisation as a specific adaptation to imprisonment and its influence on the transformation of offenders' personality among others.


     The penitentiary process includes a number of stress situations, especially privations in the realm of the satisfaction of psychological and some physiological needs. Imprisoned individuals must adapt to a new environment and be able to orientate themselves in it. This means a substantial burden in practice, especially for a first-time imprisonment where there is no prior   experience.  Emerging reactions to imprisonment may   exhibit   differing characteristics.  If alternate forms of aggression and   defensive escape mechanisms dominate, a number of psychical breakdowns and breakdowns of conduct may occur. Adaptation mechanisms also fail in some cases and this can lead to serious occurrences such as those of an auto-aggressive or even of a suicidal character. During the course of the imprisonment, the inmates undergo the process of pressurization during which some changes in preferential needs and values occur. However, this very often results in thoughts identifying with criminal conduct. Thus the course of imprisonment leads in most cases to the elimination of the majority of social roles by means of pressurization and social isolation. The loss of knowledge, skills and habits occurs. This leads to antipathy and loss of interest in social self-realization. These changes create an obstacle for a later return to society.


Project goals:


● to discover characteristic features in the motivation structure of the offenders


● to discover whether and in what way the structural their needs change under the influence of various psychosocial aspects connected to the imprisonment, especially the effect of pressurization


to determinate conclusions and recommendations for clinic a forensic psychological practice, and recommendations for psychotherapeutic programs and methods


Project Milestones, Timing:



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