2019 – 11 – psychology
This blog is actually a reply I gave to a question from Sarah (thanks, Sarah) about what would replace psychology as a method of rebabilitation. Some of what I say I have said before but it bears repeating.
“Hi Sarah, great question. The whole issue rehabilitation is much too complex to sum up in a few words… but I’ll give it a go:
There is no magic bullet. What might work for one prisoner won’t necessarily work for another; and therein lies the problem. Whilst offering different avenues for rehabilitation, the system does not offer diversity; it’s a one size fits all approach.
There is, however, one consistently proven approach (lots of studies support this) – education. If the government redirected the hundreds of millions of pounds worth of funding away from failed initiatives (such as Psychology) into a much wider variety and levels of academic, and skills based, education the taxpayers would start to see a noticeable reduction in recidivsm.
Education works on so many levels: employment and self-employment options; achievment and self-esteem; life enrichment; fulfillment of potential – I could go on but it is the sense of purpose which generates hope. In short, education already exists as the replacement.
As for prisoners not liking being told what to think by a 22 year old trainee psychologists; yes, for some that will be true. For others, it will be because they are (mainly) female. There are a lot of fragile male egos in here who cannot deal with emasculation. My own personal issue has nothing to do with age, gender, or being a trainee; it is simply a matter of competence.
All I have ever experienced in my 16 years of dealing with prison psychologist (trainee or qualified) is mass indoctrination, confirmation bias and the results of incompetence. They are masters of manipulation; they must be to have conned the government and the public for over 25 years; fleecing the taxpayers of millions of pounds, whilst returning no meaningful results.
I recommend you read ‘Bad Psychology’ by Robert A. Forde. He formerly worked in prisons as a (qualified) psychologist; his book blows the whistle on their malpractice and incompetence.
Sarah, thanks again for taking the time to leave your question; keep them coming. Graham.”
Be happy, be safe.
Graham Coutts, 19 th April 2019