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The following exercise is for educational purposes only. Students must review and adhere to the APA ethics code in the application, storage, and disclosure of confidential information during this exercise. For more information, students may contact the instructor via email.
Role-play and interview a classmate as an offender client (e.g., Client 2). Use only initials to identify or discuss the offender client in the journal. Afterwards, administer (or interview) the offender client with the Mental Health Screening Form III (MHSF-III). Based on hypothetical score results (between 11 and 18 points), write a reflective summary of the symptoms along with the background information gathered during the interview. The summary should include ethically appropriate treatment and evaluation recommendations for an offender who is court ordered for jail diversion treatment.
For additional details, please refer to the Module Ten Interview Journal Guidelines and Rubric document.
In Module Ten, students will conduct a mock offender interview utilizing a standardized screening measure for forensic mental health symptoms. In this situation, it is essential to conceptualize offender treatment recommendations in relation to the interview and assessment collected data. Often, the best criminal and correctional psychological examiners are those who can integrate their data findings into prevention and treatment programs. Based on Chandler, Canter, and Youngs’s (2014) findings, assessment and typology data can be interpreted into a preventive approach to offender treatment. In theory, there are three levels of conceptualizing offenders. On the tertiary level, the focus is on treating offenders with severe to moderate criminal histories. During screenings, offenders are likely to have high to severe forensic mental health symptoms. This level often involves treating the life narrative or cognitive distortions of criminals with complete or semi-psychopathic selfperceptions. The psychopathic or perceived criminal orientation of the criminal’s life story is also characteristic of the professional narrative. The professional narrative is characteristic of offenders who perceive themselves as professional criminals or masterminds. This narrative along with high dystonic functioning (e.g., drug use, low threat control, low emotional insight) are the precipitating factors in criminal recidivism. On the tertiary level, the parental risk typology is most likely consistent with Deltas (Type 4), meaning that there is strong likelihood for therapeutic noncompliance and resistance to criminal narrative revisions without long-term psychiatric, psychological, and legal interventions (Chandler, 2013).
On the secondary level, the focus is on offenders with moderate criminal histories. On this level, there is a tendency to have fewer criminally destructive relationships and patterns than on the tertiary level (Chandler, Canter, & Youngs, 2014). The forensic mental health screenings may contain moderate data risk findings. There are also two criminal narratives in the secondary level. The victim theme focuses on psychopathic patterns as a result of perceived or existing life experiences of physical and/or emotional harm (Chandler, 2014). In turn, the revenge narrative theme is a result of seeking criminological revenge for perceived or past acts of harm, offense, or denigration. The parental risk typologies on the secondary level are likely characterized as either Beta (Type 2) or Gamma (Type 3). Betas are more compliant in psychiatric and therapeutic treatment than Gammas. On this level, successful long-term criminal narrative revisions are likely to result in criminal desistance, therapeutic visitations, and family reunification (Chandler, 2013).
On the primary level, offender treatment involves mild to moderate risk factors and minor criminal offense histories. The primary level cases are typically associated with non-intentional acts, accidental harm, drug abuse, relational problems, or temporary diminished parental capacities (Chandler, Canter, & Youngs, 2014). At this level, offenders may have only mild psychopathic characteristics, but in extreme circumstances may engage in the tragic hero themes. This narrative theme focuses on perceived injustice, which may also be referred to as “injustice collectors.” The parental risk typology on this level is characterized primarily by Alphas (Type 1), which is the lowest risk typology. They are also likely diagnosed with mild psychiatric or psychological conditions, such as adjustment disorder or other non-clinical diagnoses. Among these cases, courts may mandate the offender to attend forensic counseling services within a specified timeframe to monitor progress, visitation, and willingness to change. Successful criminal narrative revisions are also likely to reduce criminal recidivism. As students complete this module, they should consider the connections between forensic psychological assessments and offender treatment.
Chandler, D. (2013). Firearm-related child abuse and the development therapeutic risk: Typologies for at-risk parents. The Forensic Therapist.
Chandler, D., Canter, D., & Youngs, D. (2014). Investigative narrative analysis: A method for treating parental criminality. Accepted for publication. The Forensic Therapist. The National Association of Forensic Counselors.
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