Prison gambling associated with crime, substance abuse when offenders re-enter community

Sep 16, 2009

Parolees with a gambling habit may resort to criminal activities and substance abuse when they are released from prison if there are few community supports to help them re-integrate, a University of Alberta study has concluded.

Gambling is prevalent in prisons and the study found that even inmates not habituated to the pastime before incarceration can acquire a taste for it they're unable to shake when released. It's a fact that has worrisome consequences often associated with the commission of crime and substance abuse as parolees try to re-integrate into society.

Research conducted by leisure researchers D.J. Williams and Gordon Walker, in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, examined the perceptions of 15 correctional officers in the states of Nevada, a state, and Utah, where gambling is illegal, on offender gambling and its impacts on offender re-entry.

Williams, who completed his doctorate in and recreation prior to a post doctoral fellowship in gambling studies at the U of A, is the paper's lead author. He and Walker found there are insufficient practical resources to help problem gambler offenders integrate successfully into the community.

Correctional officers reported a lack of readily available resources and said it was often assumed that other forms of treatment would address gambling problems, however the findings show that isn't necessarily the case.

Researchers found that gambling often complicates offenders' efforts to live crime-free and say this problem urgently needs to be addressed if parolees are to transition successfully from to community.

Their findings are published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.

Source: University of Alberta (news : web)

Explore further: Impact of childhood bullying still evident after 40 years

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gambling bill moves to full House

May 26, 2006

In a 25-11 vote Thursday the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill banning gambling over state lines and Internet technologies.

Estimated 750,000 problem gamblers among America's youth

May 06, 2008

Gambling activity is widespread among U.S. adolescents and young adults ages 14 through 21, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA).

Recommended for you

Our brains are hardwired for language

6 hours ago

A groundbreaking study published in PLOS ONE by Prof. Iris Berent of Northeastern University and researchers at Harvard Medical School shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language univer ...

Child burn effects far reaching for parents

11 hours ago

Parents of burn victims experience significant psychological distress for at least three months after the incident and may compromise the post-operative recovery of their child, WA research has found.

Internet use may cut retirees' depression

11 hours ago

Spending time online has the potential to ward off depression among retirees, particularly among those who live alone, according to research published online in The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences an ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...