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Group drumming for incarcerated men may improve community reintegration: a mixed methods pilot study

Abstract

Objectives

Investigate a group drumming intervention in an incarcerated, halfway house population to evaluate intervention feasibility, phenomenology of participation, and potential benefits for community reintegration.

Methods

Twenty-eight participants were randomized to either treatment as usual or a drum group held weekly for 8 weeks. Halfway house retention rates were compared. Interviews and a focus group were conducted, coded, and thematically analyzed.

Results

Retention rate was significantly higher in the drum group than in the control group (d=1.0, p<0.05). Qualitative analysis elicited that group drumming (1) functions therapeutically as a method of coping with stress, (2) promotes connection through experiencing communion and building relationship amidst social isolation, and (3) provides an environment for personal growth, particularly toward re-humanization and self-empowerment.

Conclusions

These findings suggest significant therapeutic potential of group drumming in social, emotional, and self-development domains, with quantifiable impact on community reintegration, suggesting effective interventions toward rehabilitation and decarceration.

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Rojiani, R., Junn, A., Wood, M. et al. Group drumming for incarcerated men may improve community reintegration: a mixed methods pilot study. J Exp Criminol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11292-021-09460-3

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Keywords

  • Community reintegration
  • Coping
  • Drum therapy
  • Emotional processing
  • Group drumming
  • Incarceration
  • Rehabilitation
  • Re-humanization
  • Self-empowerment
  • Social processing