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Abstract

Background A drama-based programme, called ‘Insult to Injury’, was designed to explore the processes of anger, aggression and violence. The aim of the programme was to enable offenders to identify and generate strategies and skills for dealing with potentially volatile situations, and to provide a safe and supportive environment in which to practice and evaluate these strategies.

Aims An active drama-based approach combined with cognitive-behavioural techniques was used to explore issues such as masculinity, power and control, pride and shame and victim awareness. Reductions in anger were hypothesized.

Method A single group pre/post design assessed the levels of anger before and after the course.

Results Sixty-two adult male offenders from six prison establishments in the UK took part in the nine-day course. As hypothesised, significant reductions in anger were found in pre- to post-course assessment.

Conclusions These results suggest that a drama-based approach may be a promising adjunct to traditional anger management programmes for violent offenders. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.