Inmate Childhood And Adolescent Animal Cruelty
Based on a sample of 261 inmates at medium- and maximum-security prisons in a southern U.S. state, this study examines the relationship among several motives (anger, fun, dislike, and imitation) for animal cruelty and violent crime convictions (assault, rape, and murder). Almost half of inmates reported abusing animals out of anger, whereas more than a third did so for fun.
Almost half of all inmate respondents reported abusing animals for reasons stemming from anger, whereas more than one third say they did so for fun. Dislike for the animal and imitation were less frequent motives. Participants who abused animals at an earlier age and those who did so out of anger or for fun were more likely to repeat the offense. Regression analyses revealed that abusing an animal for fun in one’s youth was the most statistically salient motive for predicting one’s later violence toward people, as an adult.