Rus Articles Journal

Whether the psychologist in prison is necessary? A look from within

First of all by consideration of the matter my personal experience and experience of colleagues from correctional facilities of Ukraine was used. In this article the problems characteristic not for corrective labor colonies, and for pre-trial detention centers where the contingent of clients at the psychologist it is obvious more variously, than at colleagues from colonies rise (adults, minor, persons under investigation, convicts, men, women, earlier not offenders and recidivists).

Why it is necessary

the Place of execution of punishments just cannot do without psychologist, a constant stress both at the imprisoned (persons under investigation), and at workers there.

Problems are actual for prisoners :

- isolation from society, the family;

- the fear of uncertainty (that will be with me - will be let out or will condemn if condemn, then for what term);

- sense of guilt or thirst of revenge;

- as relatives will react (whether will wait, visit whether they will be able to forgive);

- stay long time in the same conditions with one people;

- same-sex social groups, sexual abstinence (sometimes leads to sexual deviations).

For those who prepare for freedom more topical issues of return to society (work, housing, communications, experiences how they will be apprehended). Process of adaptation to life on freedom not less painful, than adaptation to places of detention. Society and law enforcement agencies did not develop the necessary mechanisms of resocialization. As a result they come back … Often in prison to the prisoner an opportunity to look at the situation from outside, to get elementary moral support which he can receive from the psychologist and cannot receive in a chamber (will not understand, will ridicule, will condemn) and from other employees (mutual negative attitudes) is simply necessary for


For personnel the major stressful factors are:

- continuous communication with the negative and embittered people;

- low compensation, absence of prospects;

- constant pressure from the management;

- an opportunity to catch a serious illness (first of all, tuberculosis), risk of physical aggression;

- misunderstanding in a family (money does not bring, angry, drinks, etc.) .

“Through 5 years of work - degradation, through 10 - deformation“ , - joking, the worker with an experience of 16 years explained to me. “We have in the country a punishment more than 15 years - it is lifelong, so I already on lifelong went“ , - he told next time.

Humour - specific, rigid, vulgar. Only having got used to it, you understand its saving importance, he helps not to go crazy.

Alcohol and tobacco... Seldom which of employees does not use them.

Transfer of subculture of prisoners in the life. For operating time more “hair dryer“ I heard from workers, than from prisoners. The impression is made that this language first of all is necessary to employees, they find in it a certain sacral sense.

Why is not necessary

“The best psychologist is a convict“. Really, studying one another in a chamber during the long period of time, they very fine begin to understand people. Often the most effective help is given by the wise cellmate.

Subkultura also plays a certain therapeutic role, does life under trying conditions to the most comfortable. To Chifirit to equally group psychotherapy or training on actual subject.

Nonprofessionalism of psychologists. For work in penal system the expert who will be able to find the middle between the psychological theory and features of system is necessary. Low compensation of the qualified specialist you will not entice. The psychologist in a pre-trial detention center has to be the most stress-resistant as feels pressure from all directions.

the Unique status of the psychologist in system. The position of the civilian psychologist, in particular, in Ukraine, is regulated by joint orders of the Ministry of Education and Department of execution of punishments. And conjurers - personnel officers of Department chose everything that is favorable to system and is unprofitable to the psychologist. An experience - as at the teacher, holiday - as at penitentiary, a salary - at the category “employees and workers“.

Unreal requirements. Average load of the psychologist - 600 people. It is clear, that about the full-fledged help the speech does not go. First of all the psychologist works with people most subject to mental disorders.

the Psychologist is included into department socially - educational and psychological work in which the Department parted literary trash with indicators. The absurdity of a situation sometimes reaches that “paper“ work takes more than 50% of time. The psychologist appears - to help before the choice to people in practice or to help on paper. To prove that work of the psychologist is not measured by quantitative indices, there is nobody, the higher management is far from real work. to

It is obvious that in a present situation the psychologist in prison is “the 5th wheel“ ., It seems, it is also not necessary, but time the order is - let will be. In my opinion, in view of the existing blocking the psychologist now just cannot qualitatively execute the work, and the penal system needs complex reforms.