Some take up gambling in prison

Sept. 21, 2009 at 1:12 AM

EDMONTON, Alberta, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Gambling is prevalent in prisons and inmates who didn't gamble before incarceration can acquire a taste for it that's hard to shake, Canadian researchers say.

Researchers D.J. Williams and Gordon Walker, both of the University of Alberta, examined the perceptions of 15 correctional officers in Nevada, a gambling state, and Utah, where gambling is illegal, on offender gambling and its impacts on offender re-entry.

The study, published in the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 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, but the findings show that isn't necessarily the case, the study said.

Gambling often complicates offenders' efforts to live crime-free and say the problem urgently needs to be addressed if parolees are to transition successfully from prison to community, the researchers said.

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