Posttraumatic stress disorder treatment in correctional settings: A brief review of the empirical literature and suggestions for future research

Academic Article


  • This article reviews the available empirical studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments for correctional populations. Despite the large numbers of prisoners and their high rates of victimization and traumatic disorders, few targeted treatments are available, and even fewer have been studied and empirically supported. The treatment modalities that have been studied include two exposure, two cognitive, and two skills-based approaches investigated in a total of eight studies. Four studies that met criteria for this review were conducted with women, three with juvenile males, and one with a single man. The studies possess many methodological weaknesses, and some outcomes have been disappointing. In the hopes of preventing further suffering, revictimization, and recidivism, it is imperative that further development and investigation of targeted treatments continue in this understudied and vulnerable population. Much progress has been made in the treatment of PTSD in the general population, so these approaches could be explored in the correctional system as well. © 2007 APA, all rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Heckman CJ; Cropsey KL; Olds-Davis T
  • Start Page

  • 46
  • End Page

  • 53
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 1