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A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Critical Need For the Psychological Evaluation of Inmates

No psychologist likes working in a prison since even those with supportive congenial colleagues contain difficult characteristics: being unable to keep a personal phone within the institution, and having to exit multiple locked gates before rejoining the normal world. Yet these psychologists play a critical role.
While a county chief psychologist I often evaluated inmates at the local jail. An experience which, perhaps contrary to popular belief, they valued and even enjoyed. An inmate's life in a local jail lacks the treatment and educational facilities of larger state prisons. Thus receiving the undivided attention of another person is a gift not to be spurned. Moreover comprehensive psychological testing, which includes intelligence and personality instruments, is inherently interesting and provides exhaustive information. So much that my reports were nicknamed "magic" though their creation reflected the lengthy psychometric research and study of others.
By helping judges make better informed decisions, my reports always aided these. One young man who violated parole was released when my testing revealed that he was intellectually limited. Another, handsome and charming except when pressed, had much unconscious rage toward women which had already erupted in attempted rape.
Society would be safer and more just if psychological testing played a greater role in the judicial system. 

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Why Battered Wives Remain Married

Why women who experience repeated threats and physical assaults from their spouse remain with them seems inexplicable yet is readily understandable.Through their experiences they have been programmed to be submissive, enslaved by their husband through a paralyzing terror of continuous agitation, anxiety bordering on panic, and psychosomatic symptoms, these creating passivity and feelings of hopelessness. Only rarely does their deeply repressed rage become homicidal.
Studies have revealed that many of these women had alcoholic fathers and had married as teenagers when pregnant. The husbands drank heavily and kept their wives isolated, accusing them of infidelity and beating them after their return home, causing the women to live in constant fear and unable to meet with supportive female friends and keep medical appointments. Their low self-esteem, lack of safety and financial resources, and feeling of shame cause them to stay with their battering husband.

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