Introduction: The aim of our study is then to analyze psychological and judicial features of a subgroup of inmates with substance abuse.
Methods: Prisoners with substance abuse (n = 312) were compared to prisoners without substance abuse (n = 591). Recruited inmates completed a semistructured interview for collection of sociodemographic and judicial data and a battery of psychometric tests for assessement of aggression, impulsivity, depression, personality traits, hostility, resilience, and childhood trauma.
Results: Substance abusers had on average multiple incarcerations (78.8%), more juvenile convictions (60.2%), more violent behaviors during detention (29.8%), and a history of one or more suicide attempts (20.8%). They also had higher scores on subscales for childhood trauma, higher scores for psychoticism and neuroticism, higher impulsivity levels, worse resilience, increased hostility, and prevalent suicidal ideation.
Conclusion: Prisoners with substance abuse constitute a subgroup with increased judiciary and psychiatric issues, possibly due to early life history and psychological characteristics, such as high impulsivity and aggressiveness, poor resilience, and higher suicidal risk.