Keeping violent offender rehabilitation on track: How the diffusion and redirecting of attentional focus/mood work in the GRIP program

Bowen Paulle*, Alex van der Zeeuw

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

There is an urgent need to understand how programming inside prisons can facilitate rehabilitation and reentry processes, especially among men convicted of violent offenses. GRIP (Guiding Rage into Power) is a year-long “Offender Accountability” program presently spreading through the California prison system. GRIP is a group-therapy and trauma-healing program that follows a somatic-awareness-centered model. We use audiovisual data to investigate the sequenced, second-to-second inner workings of what actually constitutes operational excellence in this evidence-based in-prison rehabilitation program. Making use of interaction ritual theory and conversation analysis, we demonstrate how two processes—the diffusion and the redirecting of attentional focus/mood—transpire in GRIP classrooms. The conclusion argues that these two processes may be the “hidden” building blocks, or what is lacking, in countless rehabilitation programs and other social work interventions—both inside and outside of correctional facilities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalQualitative Social Work
Early online date1 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • Prison rehabilitation
  • Group therapy
  • Trauma treatment
  • Audiovisual data
  • Interaction rituals
  • Conversational analysis
  • GRIP

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