Introduction Numerous studies confirmed personality traits as being important predictors of criminal behavior. The aim of this research was to determine which constellation of basic personality traits incarcerated individuals and those serving alternative sanctions differ, and which traits make the difference between the criminal and the non-criminal populations. In this research, the model of personality used is a cybernetic model of conative functioning, which assumes that conative regulation systems almost completely describe the structure of personality.

Methods The study sample consisted of 391 male respondents (152 offenders serving prison sentence, 91 convicts sentenced to alternative penalties and 148 non-offenders). 

Examined variables were: the regulator of activity (Extroversion), the regulator of organic functions (Hysteria), the regulator of defense reactions (Anxiety), the regulator of attack reactions (Aggressiveness), the system for coordination of regulatory functions (Psychoticism) and the system for integration of regulatory functions (Integration).

Results There were significant differences in all dimensions of personality between groups, except for the framework of Extraversion. The traits that contribute to the difference between individuals serving prison sentence and offenders sentenced to alternative penalties are Integration and Aggressiveness. The traits that contribute to the difference between non-offenders and offenders serving prison sentence are Psychoticism, Integration, Aggressiveness, and Anxiety. Among offenders sentenced to alternative penalties and the general population no difference in personality traits was found.

Conclusions Our findings may indicate the need for mandatory diagnostic psychological evaluation of persons who have committed minor offenses, to ensure the right decision is made when choosing between prison and an alternative method of punishment.



personality traits; offenders; disorganization; disorders; rehabilitation

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19057/јser.2016.4

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