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Inmates and correctional officers in a Lwnty jail made attributions of responsibility and predicted each other's attributions in response to four hypothetical stimulus incidents varying in severity of the inmate's intentional misbehavior and the severity of the officer's intentional retribution. When the misbehavior and retribution were moderate, subjects blamed both participants about equally. However, both over- and underreactions to the stimulus inmate's misbehavior elicited defensiveness, with both officers and inmates more likely to attribute responsibility to their opposite role character. In addition, both inmates and officers appeared to respond defensively to severe but equitable retributions. Subjects blamed each other, and, anticipating the other's defensiveness, expected to be blamed. Examination of the data suggested that subjects may have responded stereotypically rather than empathetically, and that defensiveness impeded rather than facilitated predictive accuracy. Results were consistent with previous research, increasing the generality of the “blame the other-expect to be blamed” effect. Additional analyses indicated that inmates were more likely than officers to notice mitigating circumstances when considering the inmates' responsibility. Three recommendations were made which may help to forestall inmate reactivity to retributions: (1) Jail personnel should have objective and clear definitions as to what constitutes major and minor infractions; (2) inmates should be aware of these criteria; and (3) jail personnel should be sensitive to mitigating circumstances and moderate their retribution or anticipate possible reactivity from inmates.