Choon Yong-ACE Class Report – The Psychology of Incarceration

Author of Book: Khalil Osiris
Date Read: November 12, 2023

Book Report

Begin: 9/24/2023
Finish: 11/12/2023
Title: The Psychology of Incarceration.
Instructor: Khalil Osiris

Why I chose to take this class:
This class cover the seven criminogenic domains that BOP considers to determine if an inmate is ready for release and reintegrate with society. This class will help me prepare and work on my deficiencies for reintegration with society.

What I learned from this class:
There are seven main criminogenic domains that are considered by BOP for readiness for release: 1) Employment / Education. 2) Marital / Family Relations. 3) Association / Social Interaction. 4) Substance Abuse. 5) Community Functioning. 6) Personal / Emotional Orientation and 7) Attitude.
Before considering the criminogenic domains, the factor we have to consider is self imposed limitations and personal accountability. Incarceration is a metaphor for self imposed limitation, what we are engaged in and it affect out thinking and perception. This course hope to change the offenders way of thinking to avoid getting back to prison, recidivism. The mental health standard in this case is the Trait. The Trait is prosocial values and Attachments. The condition is Arrest and Detainment. The Distortion is Antisocial Value and Detachment. Attachment – A willingness to see others as unique human beings, and to allow them to see you as a unique human being. Crime is antisocial thinking. Thinking and actions are determined by our values. Crime is the antisocial value and the condition is Arrest and Detainment. All factors leading to the crime is static and cannot be changed. But the seven Criminogenic Dynamic domains can be changed to prepare us for release and reintegration with community.

Domain # 1 – Employment / Education:
Work and role of work and Education while incarcerated is used as a stepping stone to prepare us for release. We need work to support our self and family. Skills that we used at work are transferable and can be used for other jobs. Educate yourself to acquire new skill sets. Volunteer to show others what you believe in and your skill sets. Our Thinking determine our success. Perseverance and tenacity are very important as we will face lots of rejection and denials because we are competing with other candidates for the job.

Domain # 2 – Marital / Family Relations:
The Trait for this Domain is Love and the Distortion is Manipulation. During incarceration, we lose family members and there is always bitterness by family members that look at us as manipulative and always looking for handouts. Love is the ability to embrace people and allow them to be themselves. When we are incarcerated, the family loses support from us and our family have to support us, thus taking away resources they need to live on. We have to be able to deal with resentment from family members because we are felons. We have to educate and develop new skills while in prison so when we are released we will not be a charge to the family and we have to redeem ourselves. Assess for readiness for release, family relationship is a predictor for recidivism.

Domain # 3 – Association / Social Interaction:
The Trait for this domain is Friendship. The condition is Relationship While Incarcerated. Friendship is making room for other people to be who they are. The distortion is Antisocial. The challenge is how do you act in ways that reflect values different than the conditions normalized in prison. Find a ways to make room for Healthy Relationship that do not involve criminal behavior. People you associate with in and out of prison who engage in criminal behavior can be problematic. This domain is a strong predictor whether you are ready for release.

Domain # 4 – Substance Abuse:
The Condition for this domain is Stop Using Drugs and Alcohol. Intimacy is the Trait – Be there for others. The Condition also include Mental Health and Health Issues. We need to not only abstain from using drugs or alcohol but also the thoughts associated with substance abuse. Think about the consequences of reliance on Drugs and Alcohol. You have to stay clean because they do drug test for all employment even after your probation. The value placed on living without reliance on alcohol and other drugs.
Domain # 5 – Community Functioning:
The Trait for this domain is Gregariousness or Social. The condition is subversive threat group activity (Gang). The distortion is blind loyalty, gang activities and gangs. Behavior will betray thinking – as your action will be known to the public. Everything is explainable but not excusable. Knowledge to participate with daily life, health, place to live and interaction with the community. How well can you function in the community. Community functions, the value placed on a person’s knowledge and necessary skills for daily living, you are responsible to get up and go to work or do other activities. Unlike prison, you are told what and when to do. Things like table etiquette, eating in restaurant, how you communicate and interaction with others differs from prison.

Domain # 6 – Personal and Emotional Orientation:
The trait for this domain is Cooperation – an openness to others, being unselfish. The condition is Accelerated Aging. The distortion is Futility and Hopelessness. Personal and Emotional Orientation – The value placed on being in control of one’s life: decision making, cope with stress and mental health. Acquire the Critical thinking skills to challenge the thinking in prison. Encourage to make changes while in prison to cope with the outside world.

Domain # 7 : Attitude:
The Trait for this domain is Trust. The condition is Anxiety of Pre-Release and Parole. The Distortion is Unbalanced. Excessive worry and overwhelming anxiety. Attitude the value placed on living in a way that is law abiding. Trust – Belief in our own ability to face any situation in life and be well (balanced) and not revert to criminal activities to overcome obstacles.

Prison is the antithesis of law abiding living. The focus is on our thinking and examine our personal transformation, education, work, develop new skills, improve our critical thinking to cope with community that is different from prison. Readiness for release is weighted heavily on the seven Criminogenic Domains to minimize recidivism.

How will this class contribute to my success upon release:
This class educate me in which areas I need to develop to prepare myself for release to the community. Understanding the criminogenic domains will help me reintegrate seamlessly into the community upon my release.