PRISON PSYCHOLOGY

RISK ASSESSMENTS
Over the past few years, I have been assessed with various diagnostic tools. It is important to note that some of these assessments will be based around my wrongful conviction and the resulting hyperbole. However, in spite of these shortcomings, the results speak for themselves, which came as no surprise to me or my friends and family. Although you cannot get a lower category of risk than ‘low risk’ (there is no @no risk’ category), were they to base their assessments on the truth, as opposed to so much erroneous information the results would be even better.

OFFENDER ASSESSMENT SYSTEM (OASys)
This is a voluminous computer based system which is updated every 1 or 2 years by the prisoner’s Offender Supervisor (OS). They type in information to the computer which, amongst other things, interprets the date to predict future offending in 3 different categories.

OVP risk level: low
OGP risk level: low
OGPS3 risk level: low

RISK MATRIX 2000 (RM2000)
The RM2000 assesses risks of sexual reconviction. Please note, I have never been arrested, charged, cautioned, convicted, or had a finding for any sexual offence. To be clear, I am not a sex offender, not in reality and not in law. Despite these facts, prison psychology manage me as such – go figure.
Risk level: low

CLINICAL PSYCHOPATHY ASSESSMENT (PCL-R)
Not an actual risk assessment. I tested negative for psychopathy.

PERSONALITY DISORDER ASSESSMENT (IPDE)
Not an actual risk assessment. There are 10 different personality disorders, including: paranoid; schizoid, schizotypal; antisocial,borderline; histrionic; narcissistic; avoidant; dependent;
and obsessive compulsive. I tested negative for all of these.

EMOTIONAL RECOGNITION
Not an actual risk assessment. Sometimes called the ’empathy test’, it involves you looking at head shots of various people who exhibit a number of different emotions. Your task is to identify these emotions from facial expression alone. Some are exaggerated but others are micro-subtle. The emotions include anger; fear; disgust; sadness; happiness; surprise; and an impassive face (which they don’t warn you about).

Historically male offenders score low of this text as they seem to have difficulty in recognising visual cues. I’m not sure if this si the same for female offenders (I am aware of a general gender imbalance when it comes to emotional recognition from visual cues alone). The psychologist split the participants into 3 groups: sexual offenders; violent offenders (which was the group they put me into); and a control group (this was made up of prison officers.
I scored 103/110 (93.6%). Only one person scored higher (104/110). My score is indicative of an empathetic non-offender.
Intriguingly, many of the prison officers scored really low and some lower than many in the offender groups. This is an important piece of data as many prison reports are written by officers who have to interpret prisoner behaviour. If they are deficient in the areas of emotional recognition there exists a danger that their reports could be inaccurate and damaging (actually, this happens all to often.
Graham Coutts 22nd October 2014

5 Comments on "PRISON PSYCHOLOGY"

  • Fascinating insight, so what do you presume is Jane’s cause of death and under what circumstances did she die?

  • Hi Graham

    I kinda don’t want to leave my name to protect my anonymity but I do know you and empathise with you. I hope you are getting on great with your guitar and studies .. perhaps with all of those cooking recipes you were doing.

    As far as prison psychology goes I don’t think any of those scoring systems are accurate in any way shape or form; indeed the very people who compile such are significantly deficient in many aspects of what they preach. I went through the same thing with them stating various reconvixtion rates, percentages and time frames; however what they fail to factor in was innocence and determination – life was difficult immediately after prison but it can be done – I now have a home and a life and more so I have a job where I manage several governmental contracts – some people I have to deal with are actually retired screws and failed prison psychologists – the way they behave in the real world is disgraceful – yet I retain my anonymity and dignity.

    My point is that there can be hope and light at the end of the tunnel; the problem is more to do with which prison you end up in – is was more than clear that where you became located is run akin to a business whereby inmates are held as a mechanism to make profits in a never ending cycle of significant errors and lies!

    My advice is try to move onwards from those places – a sidestep can sometimes move mountains. Unfortunately it took me a long time to realize you can never beat a corrupt system but you can make it work for you if you step outside of the box.

    I just wish you well and hope you can smile again

    Good luck

    • Hi dazeydazey, I’m pretty certain I know who this is. It’s great to hear that you are turning your life around; so many don’t. I’m not surprised, you certainly had a good work ethic with your educational work.

      I don’t disagree with any of your points; certain staff need to shine a light on their own conduct and ethics..

      Unfortunately, being a wrongfully convicted lifer makes it a little more difficult to get a sideways move to another prison; who will, in all probability be just as inflexible with their approach. All things being well, this will not be an issue should I win my appeal.

      Keep moving forward and do not look back. Prison is now but a chapter in you life and does not define who you are as a human being.

      Take care, Graham.

  • Hi Graham,

    I just checked back to see how you were doing – I really really wish you well in your appeal I hope things go well and I wanted to say “NEVER EVER GIVE UP – You are a much better person than many of those who hold the keys can ever aspire to be if they took a good look at themselves”.

    There are some people who listen – its just finding those people; so I hope it happens for you – and soon as I know you wont look back either (thank you for that lovely comment btw). Please just keep your chin up and hold things together – hopefully things get better soon.

    Take care ok and good luck – I really really mean that so much – my sincere best wishes.

    aka dazeydazey

    • Good to hear from you again. Thanks for your support. There has been lots happening since I took a break from the blog. Hopefully I will start blogging again in the New Year. Hope things still going well for you.
      Best wishes, Graham.

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