In risk assessment practice, correctional staffs have been recommended to collect necessary information through face-to-face interviewing for reducing intentional distortion of response or social desirability bias. However, currently in correctional practice, it is discussed that self-report questionnaire is one of options as well as clinician-administered method in the accuracy of predicting recidivism. The purpose of this study was to examine how procedures for the assessment affect inmates’ responses in a sample of Japanese prisons. Participants were 1,574 inmates who were newly admitted into prisons, and they completed self-report questionnaire (including 47 items) either in front of correctional staffs or in their room. Responses to two different settings were compared. The results revealed that in approximately three-fourths of the items, there were no statistically significant differences between two groups. However, ceiling and floor effects were found in 28 items, and these results seemed partly because of the social desirability. Implications for offender assessment and future directions are discussed.
This study examined the use of psychiatric opinions by looking at the interview process of a victim of a sex crime who received a diagnosis and psychiatric opinion from psychiatrists as part of criminal proceedings for assessing the victim’s trauma and possible future psychological issues. The use of psychiatric opinions in the criminal trial revealed the victim’s psychological state, which even the victim was unable to fully comprehend, and proved to be useful for criminal trial proceedings. Furthermore, incorporating the psychiatric opinion into the interview with the psychiatrist gave the victim an opportunity to face his/her trauma, which suggests that the process can be an effective psychoeducational tool in dealing with trauma. From the above, it is suggested that mental health professionals involved in the interview process should act as both the victim’s spokesperson by working with psychiatrists and the victim’s interpreter by explaining the meaning of psychiatric opinions and the thought process of psychiatrists.
Safe place in society for ex-inmates plays an important role in preventing their reoffending. The purpose of this study is to develop the Safe Place Scale of Prisoners for Male (SPSP-M) , and to examine the psychological functions of safe place peculiar to inmates. Our preliminary survey constructed the 50-item scale based on the semi-structural interview. The scale was completed by 310 male prisoners. Factor analysis revealed the 40-item scale and 7 domains of SPSP-M: perceived acceptance, mental stability, self-efficacy, connectedness, freewheeling lifestyle, reflective consciousness and places that non-gravitate toward crime, and satisfaction of basic need. The SPSP-M also showed satisfactory reliability and validity. Prisoners’ age and number of imprisonments were also associated with the SPSP-M. The SPSP-M could be useful to arrange prisoners’ environment in free society and to contribute to reintegration of them into the society.