Inmates love psychiatrists

2010-04-21 13:08

An increasing number of prison inmates are paying psychiatrists to

write up assessments that motivate their release.

The acting national commissioner of correctional services, Jenny

Schreiner, told the portfolio committee on correctional services that prisoners

were using the assessments by the mental health professionals as a “motivation”

that they would not recommit a crime.

Schreiner said: “We have an increasing process of inmates... going

to get psychiatric assessments done at their own expense by their own

psychologists and psychiatrists that is then presented as part of motivation

that a particular inmate won’t recommit crime.

“We need to be sure that is an independent assessment by somebody

who has necessary expertise to draw a conclusion about my psychological state

and about my propensity to commit crime.”

Schreiner said a number of “questions” existed around the decision

making on the granting of medical parole to prisoners.

The decision at the moment lies with the parole board or at the

national council level which gave recommendations to the minister of correction

services, but the problem was that parole boards were not currently constituted

with medical personnel.

“The importance of health professional reports on medical reports

is critically important,” she said.

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