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Morality Behind Bars

An Intervention Study on Fostering Moral Competence of Prisoners as a New Approach to Social Rehabilitation

Kay Hemmerling

Prisoners prefer moral ideals like justice and responsibility just as much as non-prisoners. However, they lack moral competence, which Georg Lind has defined as the ability to solve conflicts through deliberation and communication rather than through violence, deceit and power. The data of this experimentally designed intervention study show that imprisonment mostly makes things worse. It leads to a regression of moral competence. Further, these data show that – with appropriate training methods like the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion (KMDD) – moral competence can be effectively and sustainably fostered. The KMDD lets participants learn to solve stressful morally dilemmatic moments with mutual respect, thinking and discussion – the keys to a non-delinquent life in society.

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Assimilation ....................................................................................................... VII Acknowledgements ............................................................................................. IX Contents ............................................................................................................... XI List of Abbreviations ........................................................................................ XIII List of Tables .................................................................................................... XIV List of Figures ................................................................................................... XV Preface: Criminality as Lowest Level of Moral Competence ......................... XVII 1 Introduction ........................................................................................................ 1 2 Fostering Moral Competence in Social Rehabilitation ...................................... 5 2.1. Legal Framework of Social Rehabilitation ................................................. 5 2.1.1 The Legal Meaning of Social Rehabilitation ......................................... 6 2.1.2 Legal Requirements for Social Rehabilitation ....................................... 7 2.1.3. Claim and Reality of Social Rehabilitation: A Critical Appraisal ...... 10 2.2 Traditional Approaches to Define and Measure the Success of Rehabilitation Efforts: A Critical Appraisal ..................................................... 11 2.2.1 Recidivism Studies and Meta-Analyses in Social Rehabilitation ........ 12 2.2.2 Measurement of Attitudes .................................................................... 14 2.2.3 Competencies in Social Rehabilitation: Missing in Theory ................. 15 2.3 Moral Competence: A New Paradigm for Social Rehabilitation ............... 18 2.3.1 A Short History of the Concept and its Meanings ............................... 19 2.3.2 Lind’s Dual-Aspects-Theory ................................................................ 20 2.3.3 Fostering Moral Orientations: An Aim of Social Rehabilitation? ....... 24 2.3.4 Moral Competence is an Aim of Social Rehabilitation........................ 28 2.3.5 The Relevance of Moral Competence for Social Rehabilitation ......... 31 2.3.6 The Education Theory of Moral Competence Emerging from the Dual-Aspects-Theory..................................................................................... 33 2.4. Learning Environments in Prison .............................................................. 35 2.4.1 Social Rehabilitation Methods in Jails and Prisons: A Lack of Opportunities for Moral Learning? ............................................................... 36 2.4.2 Increasing Effectiveness: From Kohlberg-Blatt to KMDD ................. 45 2.4.3 The Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion (KMDD) ................... 46 2.4.4 The Impact of Dilemma-Discussions in Prisons on Moral Orientations and Moral Competence ............................................................. 51 2.5 Research Questions and Hypotheses .......................................................... 55 2.5.1 Moral Orientations Don’t Change During Imprisonment (Hyp. 1) ..... 56 2.5.2 Formal Education Can...

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