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An Historical Review of the Role and Practice of Psychology in the Field of Corrections

1992, N°. R-28

Prepared by:

R. E. Watkins

Research and Statistics Branch
Correctional Service of Canada

August, 1992

Table of Contents



Historical Background

Overview of the History of Psychology in North American Corrections
Early History
Correctional Psychology in the United States: The Middle Years
Correctional Psychology in Canada

The Role of Correctional Psychologists in Applied Settings
Early Conceptualizations of Role: The American Experience
Early Conceptualizations of Role: The Canadian Experience
Modern Conceptualizations of Role

Critique of the Role
Who is the Client?
Mental Health Model

Other Considerations in the Delivery of Psychological Services in Correctional Institutions
Resource Standards
Further Evidence of the Growth of Correctional Psychology
The Unique Contribution of Psychology




     The purpose of this paper is to review the history and development of the discipline of correctional psychology. Particular interest is paid to the evolution of psychological practice in the applied correctional context and to the emergence of a thematic/generic model of the role of the correctional psychologist and the functions and activities he/she undertakes while performing that role. In order to properly position the development of psychology in corrections and the forces which helped shape its development and application, a brief review of the historical antecedents of modern correctional philosophy and practice is provided. Two factors are noted for the importance of their direct and indirect influence in this regard: the introduction of the use of confinement as punishment for criminal behaviour and the establishment of penal institutions in order to carry out such punishment.

     The discipline was first utilized in corrections in the United States during the second decade of this century. Its relevance was related to its ability to develop measures of individual differences, particularly in the area of intelligence testing, and the utility such measures could serve in inmate classification. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, psychology in corrections experienced a slow growth both in terms of the number of practitioners in the field and in the broadening of the acceptable role it could play aside from that of mental tester.

     Following World War II until the early 1970s, a transition is noted in the interest and exposure the discipline received. The number of articles in the literature increased, certainly in absolute numbers, if not in relative numbers when compared to the general increase of publication activity in psychology. The appearance of journals devoted to the topic is witnessed. The nature of the literature tended, at first, to be explanatory and proselytory. Forensic psychology made its appearance as an acknowledged, if fledgling, specialty in psychology during this period; correctional psychology was considered a sub-specialty of this field. Concern was expressed about the professional status and training of psychologists practising in corrections. The role of the correctional psychologist was broadened under the influence of the development and growth of clinical/mental health psychology following the war.

     Canadian correctional psychology made its first appearance in the literature in 1952. The accessible, extant literature focused primarily on the correctional psychology experience in Ontario provincial corrections and the federal correctional service. Three surveys on the status of correctional psychology in Canada were undertaken in the 1970s. They bore witness to the growth, and to the growing pains, the discipline was experiencing, particularly in relation to the lack of preparatory graduate training opportunities, and to the lack of recognition that it warranted the status of a disciplinary specialty (or sub-specialty).

     In 1973, the American Association of Correctional Psychologists (AACP) published a work on the involvement of psychologists in the criminal justice system with a heavy emphasis on correctional psychology. It is maintained that this publication marked a watershed for correctional psychology in both the United States and Canada signalling its movement as a maturing discipline into the modern era. A thematic role for correctional psychologists was enunciated consisting of five basic generic functions or activities: assessment/diagnosis; counselling/treatment; consultation; training; and research. This thematic/generic model represented the consensual culmination of a series of attempts in the literature over the years to describe and approximate an appropriate and effective role for psychologists working in correctional institutions.

     In the mid-1970s, correctional psychology, among other areas, came under attack from the "nothing works" anti-rehabilitation camp of penal reformists in the United States. These attacks led to a useful examination (and re-examination) of correctional psychology's role and the functions it performs. It may be argued that a more thoughtful, productive and effective role for, and involvement of, the discipline resulted.

     The paper closes with an examination of practical aspects of the operation and maintenance a correctional psychology unit, and summarizes further evidence of the growth of the discipline and the unique contribution it makes to the correctional process.


     The intent of this paper is to broadly review the history of psychology and corrections, or perhaps more properly stated, the history of psychology in corrections. Particular attention is paid to the various functions and activities in which psychology has been involved over time in the field of corrections, to the development and evolution of the discipline's role and to the implications of these findings for current practice. Emphasis is placed on the practical and applied aspects of correctional psychology as practised in institutional settings in Canada and the United States.

     It will be instructive to spend some time at the beginning of the paper to briefly - and I trust not too superficially for the purposes at hand - review the history of corrections proper in order to attempt to ascertain those antecedents in the development of corrections and correctional philosophy that have led to current practice. Special attention will be given to the place of confinement and the establishment of penal institutions. It is my contention, as well as that of many others, that these two elements of penology (not independent of one another, please note) have profoundly affected, and do continue to affect, the establishment, the development, the practice and the viability of applied correctional psychology.


     As this paper is an historical review, it is considered appropriate to indicate to the reader the manner in which the material that constitutes the body and substance of the review was gathered. In order to gather as much relevant historical information as possible, a comprehensive approach was taken consisting of several search strategies. An initial computer literature search was conducted through the facilities of the library of the Ministry of the Solicitor General, Ottawa. The literature search was undertaken via the DIALOG information search service. Four data banks were utilized in the DIALOG search - SOCIAL SCISEARCH, PSYCINFO, NCJRS (U.S. National Criminal Justice Reference Service), and CRIMINAL JUSTICE PERIODICAL INDEX - using specific key word descriptors. Subsequent to the computerized literature search, further material was uncovered through perusal of the reference lists of relevant articles identified in the initial search and through additional cross-referencing as new material was collected. Certain journals were personally scanned from the date of their initial publication to their likely inclusion in the relevant computerized literature data banks (e.g., Canadian Psychologist, Canadian Journal of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Behavior, Ontario Psychologist, etc.,). This was done in order to ferret out articles of potential historical interest whose date of publication was not included in the time span covered by the data banks and which may not have been referenced elsewhere. The current (1991 and 1992) issues of the Psychological Abstracts were consulted to ensure that the most recently published articles on the topic were included. Finally, additional source material and personal accounts were obtained from several individuals, now retired, who were integrally involved in the development of Canadian correctional psychology.


Historical Background

     The historical antecedents to current correctional practice in Canada and the United States developed primarily in the United Kingdom, although other parts of western Europe were not without their influence (e.g., France, Belgium, Italy, etc.,-Barnes & Teeters, 1959; Ignatieff, 1978; Ives, 1970). In the United Kingdom, the concept of confinement as a consequence of the transgression of secular, communal or societal laws (i.e., codes of behaviour related to the protection of property and person) can be traced to the middle ages (Ignatieff, 1978; Ives, 1970). From the thirteenth to the late sixteenth centuries, confinement was normally invoked as a means of holding over an accused until a hearing could be arranged. If convicted, the penalty imposed usually took the form of corporal punishment, mutilation, public humiliation, death or, later, when the option became available, transportation to the colonies (where there was a chronic shortage of labour). Confinement was rarely the consequence of a guilty verdict; whenever imposed as a punishment, it was usually for the relatively short period of three years or less and carried out in local jails or lockups run by the king's representative. Living conditions were often horrific. The unhappy convict was generally responsible for his own and his family's upkeep. Starvation was often the result before sentence expiration (Ives, 1970).

     By the late sixteenth century, however, confinement became a more common practice. So-called houses of correction, houses of industry, workhouses and poorhouses were established over the next century or so (circa 1570 to 1690) in order to confine and, in some cases, supposedly to usefully employ, the transient, the indigent, the vagrant, the debtor and the criminal. The nature of the institutions used for the purposes of confinement adhered to no standard of construction and provided no guarantee of even minimal living conditions or sustenance. They often consisted of converted ale houses, barns, out-buildings and at least one made-over palace (Bridewell in London). Living conditions remained horrific unless one could afford to pay the gaoler for access to the better accommodation usually available elsewhere in the institution (Ignatieff, 1978; Ives, 1970).

     Such conditions prevailed until the late eighteenth century. The advent of determined and influential prison and justice system reformers (e.g., Cesare Beccaria, John Howard and Jeremy Bentham) signalled imminent change however. The notions of the possibility of the personal reformation of the criminal and the administration of punishment to suit the crime took hold. Revision of the criminal code led to the specification of periods of confinement of various lengths of time as the suitable punishment for most offenses (with the exception of the death penalty, now much less frequently and publicly used, and transportation, which continued until the mid-nineteenth century). Penitentiaries, that is, places of confinement solely for criminals wherein personal reformation could be expected to take place, were therefore required and came into being on both sides of the Atlantic - for example, the Quaker reform of the Walnut Street Jail in Philadelphia, 1786 (Atherton, 1987); the establishment of Gloucester Penitentiary in the United Kingdom in 1792 (Ives, 1970). Standardized living conditions were instituted; the state assumed responsibility for the provision of sustenance for the inmates' keep however meagre its form might take; torture was abolished but the lash and whipping continued to be the preferred method of administering institutional authority and control; and two new elements of penal institutional life surfaced: isolation and the code of silence.

     Finally, by the early-to-mid nineteenth century, prison services in the United Kingdom and the United States were beginning to be characterized by centralization of control, administration by professional bureaucracies and standardization of practices and procedures (Barnes & Teeters, 1959; Ignatieff, 1978; Ives, 1970). Thus the evolution of corrections into a form that is not unfamiliar today in the U.K., the U.S., Canada and much of the British Commonwealth, took place (cf., Chaneles, 1985). From a modern, perhaps (and hopefully?) more enlightened perspective, it may seem somewhat ironic that today's prisons and penitentiaries, considered by some to be examples of an overly archaic, punitive and inflexible method for dealing with social deviancy (e.g., Barnes & Teeters, 1959; Chaneles, 1985), are the result of the eighteenth century reformers' attempts to provide humane alternatives to the barbaric "criminal justice" and "correctional" practices of the day.

Overview of the History of Psychology in North American Corrections

     The birth, or perhaps the final stage of evolution, of psychology as a distinct academic and scientific discipline is said to have occurred in 1879 when Wundt established his laboratory in Leipzig (e.g., see Megargee, 1982). The spread of the discipline to North America was relatively instantaneous (Bartol & Bartol, 1987; Brodsky, 1973). The American Psychological Association (APA) was founded in 1892 and, although it served primarily the interests of academicians and for the advancement of psychology as a science, there were those (e.g., Hall, Cattell, & Munsterberg), even in the early days, who believed in the viability of an applied branch of the discipline (Sobel & Corman, 1992). (It is of relevance, at this point, to note that the Canadian Psychological Association [CPA] was not founded until 1939.) The first prison classification system in use in the U.S. (and certainly predating any such system in Canada) was instituted in New Jersey in 1918 (Barnes & Teeters, 1959; cf., Jackson, 1934). Of significance is the fact that the system was developed by psychologists (Barnes & Teeters, 1959) and was an outgrowth of the service the discipline had been performing for the American armed forces during World War I in the area of the classification of servicemen (Brodsky, 1973, 1977, 1980). These efforts were largely confined to intelligence testing of potential recruits (as opposed to the more sophisticated and comprehensive classification systems developed during World War II and which reflected the increasing potential and advancement of applied psychology [Abt, 1992]). Thus psychology's entry into the correctional field may be said to be based upon the discipline's development of psychometric instruments designed to measure individual differences and the practical application to which these devices could be put.

Early History

     The first mention in the literature of the involvement of psychologists in correctional-related activities occurs in 1909, when G. Fernald, in conjunction with the psychiatrist W. Healy, co-founded a juvenile court clinic in Chicago (Bartol & Bartol, 1987; Brodsky, 1973; Megargee, 1982; Tapp, 1976). Giardini (1942) relates that the first report on the intelligence of juvenile delinquents was published in 1911 by Hill and Goddard. Perhaps the birth of research (at least in a North American context) by an outside "consultant" psychologist is represented by the work of Rowland (1913) at the New York State Reformatory for Women. She was asked by the superintendent of the institution to devise a test battery which would enable the identification of those offenders who would benefit from the educational program offered at the institution and who, upon completion of their term, could be "safely (p. 245)" released to the community to earn their living. Rowland devised a series of tests that purported to measure reaction time, memory, attention and "direct and indirect (p. 246)" suggestibility. So impressed were the institutional authorities with the results of Rowland's work that she ends the article with the following sentence:

"A resident psychologist has since been installed at Bedford [the New York State Reformatory for Women] (p.249)." Thus one encounters an early example of the impact on correctional practice a consultant psychologist can have (cf., Gendreau & Andrews, 1979).

     Giardini (1942) notes that until the early 1920s the main efforts of psychologists in corrections were directed toward the detection of feeblemindedness among delinquents (and, one presumes, adult offenders). A symposium entitled "The Work of the Psychologist in a Penal Institution" was held in 1934 and reported in the Psychological Exchange of that year. The overall impressions gleaned from the papers presented were of a sense of pioneering, and a confidence in being on the threshold of an understanding of the causes and the correction of criminal behaviour to be gained through research and treatment endeavours. The picture presented of the practice of psychology in correctional institutions varied greatly, ranging from the caution offered by Glueck (1934) that: "Too often the psychologist in a peno-correctional institution rapidly deteriorates into a mere, mechanical mental tester ... a routineer. (p. 51)," to very specific listings of functions (e.g., Giardini, 1934; Jackson, 1934; Limburg, 1934; Mursell, 1934; Papurt, 1934; Rackley, 1934). As his contribution to the symposium, Bixby (1934) surveyed state and federal correctional systems in the United States for the presence of psychologists and noted that eleven state systems and five federal Bureau of Prisons institutions reported having either full-time or part-time psychological services. (A footnote to the symposium papers informed the readers that there were 251 state and federal prisons and 3096 city and county prisons and jails.) He further noted that undoubtedly "...psychological tests are given in many other institutions by persons who are not psychologists (p. 50)." Often, psychological services were delivered to the correctional systems by sister, government agencies, organizationally belonging to another, but related, department (Jackson, 1934; Limburg, 1934; Mursell, 1934).

     Giardini and a colleague reported some of their own work of an administrative/ research nature in which they looked at the prediction of success of offenders on parole (Carter & Giardini, 1935-36). They compared the psychological prognosis of parole outcome based upon test results, case histories, etc., with the actual parole status of the subjects. They obtained a "hit" rate of 37.5%, a mild deviation from prediction of 39.2% and a wide deviation from prediction of 23.3%. The authors deemed the results to be inconclusive. Their data analysis was descriptive; no inferential statistical analysis of the data was undertaken (perhaps indicative of the practices of the day).

     Bodemar (1956), in outlining the status and role of correctional psychology in Wisconsin, notes that this state was the first in the U.S. to provide psychiatric and psychological examination of all admissions to its prison system and applications for parole. In 1924, a psychologist was appointed as a member of the itinerate, psychiatric field service for this purpose. By 1939, the team had three psychologists. The early classification work in New Jersey has already been commented upon. The first full-time correctional psychologist was hired by that state in 1921 (Jackson, 1934). The state of Ohio initiated its first prison psychological services in 1930 as part of a multi-disciplinary classification team (Mursell, 1934). Kiel (1981) reports that North Carolina first hired a psychologist for its prison service in 1936. This individual was assigned to the reception centre of one of the state's main prisons and provided both classification and clinical services. Finally, the federal Bureau of Prisons was reported to be employing the services of psychologists as early as 1931 - in an industrial reformatory for first time offenders (Limburg, 1934) - and 1933 in a "hospital" for defective delinquents (Hovey, 1934).

     I have been unable to uncover any other pre-World War II literature on the topic of the practice of psychology in corrections in the United States and none whatsoever relating to Canada, this latter not a surprising circumstance in that, to the best of my knowledge, psychologists did not begin to "infiltrate" corrections until the early 1950s (e.g., Karrys, 1952; also Ciale, 1992, and Garneau, 1992 - personal communication). In the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, however, the number of articles published (that is to say, extant and available through the normal literature-search channels) begin to increase, most of them American in content and location although Canadian material begins to appear in the mid-to-late 1950s and 1960s. The content of this literature tends to concentrate on the state of the practice of psychology in correctional settings, the number of psychologists in place contrasted to the number of psychologists required and the roles psychologists play, both actual and ideal. On a broader plane, in the 1960s and 1970s, forensic psychology begins to emerge as a distinct field from the more general area of applied psychology (Crombag, 1989). Correctional psychology is identified as a sub-discipline of forensic psychology (Tapp 1976; Toch, 1961). Thus the literature now begins to deal with correctional psychology as opposed to psychology in corrections.

Correctional Psychology in the United States: The Middle Years

     A series of articles began to appear after 1940 that, in retrospect, might been seen as attempts to publicize the fledgling discipline, to worry administrators and authorities into providing more resources in support of it and to proselytize fellow psychologists into actively taking up its cause. Darley and Berdie (1940), in a survey of the fields of applied psychology for the APA noted that there were sixty-four psychologists reported as working in either state or federal prisons. Interestingly, the academic qualifications of the sixty-four were distributed as follows: twelve individuals with B.A. degrees, thirty-one with Master's level degrees and twenty-one with doctorates (median age = 32 years, median salary = $2250 U.S.!).

     To the best of my knowledge, the first publication to be entitled a Handbook of Correctional Psychology was edited by Lindner and Seliger (1947). Only three of the forty-six contributors to the handbook were psychologists, the remainder being physicians and psychiatrists with a sprinkling of dentists, correctional administrators, etc. The book is medical and psychiatric in orientation. One is struck by the paternalistic tone adopted, that is to say, while most of the articles are treatment orientated, the patient or client is very much objectified in the most negative and impersonal senses of the word. The fact that the authors are discussing and dealing with fellow human beings seems largely forgotten or ignored.

     Corsini (1945) reported that there were some eighty-to-one hundred psychologists employed in correctional institutions in 1945. He estimated the American prison population to have been somewhere in the neighbourhood of two hundred thousand and thus concluded that there was a psychologist/prisoner ratio of approximately 1:2000. (Lindner, 1955, estimated the ratio to be 1:3000.) Corsini's article may be said to represent the first instance in the literature wherein an attempt is made to rationalize psychological resources in corrections, in this case using personnel/inmate ratios. Corsini and Miller (1952), reviewing much of the same ground (with updated data) that Corsini reviewed in his earlier article, reported there were approximately sixty psychologists employed in the field - a reduction in the neighbourhood of twenty to forty individuals from the 1945 survey. Of import is the fact that their survey was sponsored by Division 18 of the APA thus signifying a growing professional recognition of, and interest in, the young discipline. Equally important, from a professional point of view, were the concerns noted in the article regarding the academic qualifications of some of the sixty psychologists (i.e., roughly half are reported as being at the sub-doctoral level - an improvement over the findings of Darley & Birdie, [1940], however) and the fact that fully one-third of them were not listed as members of APA. It is interesting to note that these concerns were being expressed in an era when the APA was adopting the Boulder model of the scientist-practitioner (Raimy, 1950) and embarking upon efforts to establish greater professionalization in the applied/clinical branches of the discipline through certification and registration.

     In the mid-fifties, several articles appear in the Journal of Correctional Psychology (one of the two forerunners of the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior) published by the newly formed American Association of Correctional Psychologists (AACP) outlining the correctional psychology programs of several states (Bodemar, 1956; Park, 1956; Schenke, 1956; and Sell, 1956; see also Krause, Dimick & Hayes, 1972, and Raines, 1967, in the Correctional Psychologist - the second attempt by the AACP to get a special interest journal off the ground). These papers are noteworthy for the light they shed on the conditions under which correctional psychologists worked. Two modes of operation are described: one where the individual psychologist is assigned to a specific institution (e.g., Sell, 1956) and a second where the psychologist is a member of an itinerant, often multi-disciplinary, field team (Bodemar, 1956; also Mursell, 1934).

     The State of Ohio Division of Correction appointed its first, directly-employed psychologist in 1948. By 1956 there were seventeen members of the psychological services section. A sixty-eight page manual outlining the philosophy, organization, administration and duties of the group was published. Noteworthy is the mention of the intent to computerize inmate records via the use of IBM punch cards (Sell, 1955; Sell, 1956). Surprisingly, from the perspective of viewing California as the source of much innovation in the social services (and other) field(s) in the United States, the California Department of Corrections hired its first psychologist at the relatively late date of 1944 (Park, 1956).

     In all the instances noted above, the emphasis in terms of specialty training, was on clinical psychology. Park (1956) goes so far as to state that the psychologists in the California system see themselves as clinicians, not correctional psychologists. Sell (1956) and Schenke (1956) supported the need for clinical training but wished to emphasize the fact that offenders in general were not abnormal but rather that they were reformable hence the need for psychological intervention (and clinical training). It is therefore interesting to note that the burgeoning of clinical psychology/mental health psychology following the second world war (Abt, 1992; Spielberger, Megargee & Ingram, 1973)) had its influence on another, more slowly burgeoning, field of the discipline, namely, correctional psychology.

     Sell (1956) lamented the fact that there was an excessively high turnover rate of correctional psychologists and that recruitment was difficult. Lindner (1955) cited the "... unattractiveness of some of the conditions of penal work (p.358)" referring specifically to the climate of rigidity and inflexibility that often typifies correctional systems and that leads to stultification of personal and professional growth (cf., Glueck, 1934). Such musings and evidence of unfavourable working conditions may help to explain the drop in the number of identified correctional psychologists between the years 1945 and 1952 noted above (cf., Corsini, 1945, and Miller & Corsini, 1952).

     To complete this section on what I have termed the middle years of the history of applied American correctional psychology, I wish to cite some later material that is representative of what Megargee (1982) terms "pioneering" efforts (i.e., pre-dating specific correctional psychology training) in the field and which carried on into the early and mid 1970s. Krause, Dimick and Hayes (1972) related their experiences while delivering psychological services to the Indiana Women's Prison on a consultative basis. Interestingly, they claimed that these were the first such services to be offered directly (i.e., on site) to that state's female offender population and were only begun in 1971. Williams (1974) reported on the then unique and novel experience of being a female psychologist in a state prison for males (Florida) where the delivery of psychological services was initiated as recently as 1971. Finally, Goldman (1976) relates a similar experience in a Pennsylvania correctional institution for males.

Correctional Psychology in Canada

     The first penitentiary in Canada predates confederation. Kingston Penitentiary was opened in 1835. Its construction was based on the Auburn model, that is, similar in architectural design to Auburn Prison in New York State. Its method of operation was also modelled on the Auburn system; inmates laboured and dined together in strict silence, slept and spent their free time in individual or solitary cells (Curtis, Graham, Kelly & Patterson, 1985; Griffiths, 1988). The Auburn model was one of the two prevalent correctional systems of the day (Haney, 1982), the other being the Pennsylvania model (noted earlier in relation to the history of penal institutions and the opening of the Walnut Street Jail, Philadelphia). The Pennsylvania model differed from the Auburn model in that inmates in the former system spent all of their time in isolation (Atherton, 1987; Haney, 1982; Griffiths, 1988; Ives, 1970).

     Following confederation, six other federal penitentiaries were built in the various regions of the country between the years 1873 and 1911. A separate institution for female offenders was built in 1934. Five more institutions for male offenders were opened in the period between 1937 and 1959 (Curtis et al., 1985). It was during this latter era that psychology made its appearance as a distinct practising discipline in both federal and provincial corrections.

     It should be noted, at this juncture, that the British North America Act of 1867, which established the framework for the confederation of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, also established a jurisdictional distinction between federal and provincial corrections (cf., Griffiths, 1988; Macintosh, 1989). The Criminal Code of Canada specifies that the provinces are given the responsibility of confining convicted offenders awarded a sentence of less than two years, the federal government the responsibility for those receiving two years or more (cf., Greenspan, 1991, Section 731; Macintosh, 1989).

     The first evidence of psychology's involvement in corrections in a Canadian context comes from the province of Ontario. In a survey of its membership, the Ontario Psychological Association (OPA) Newsletter (Anon, 1952) noted that six member psychologists were working in "Reform settings (p. 22)." In another issue of the Newsletter, Karrys (1952) reported on her work as a psychologist at the Ontario Training School for Girls. She was the lone psychologist serving a population of one hundred and fifteen girls. Hutchison and Paitich (1956), reporting on correctional-related work, presented an outline of the first out-patient forensic clinic at the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital which served the adult courts of the area. They noted that it was the first such clinic to be established in Canada (an in-patient forensic clinic had existed in the same institution as early as 1951 [Hutchison & Paitich, 1956]). The clinic was multi-disciplinary in make-up, the psychologists' role was described as being involved in the areas of "psycho-diagnostic appraisal (p. 56)," and some therapy. Of interest is their mention of the intention to develop treatment programs for the various types of sex offenders referred. The OPA Sub-Committee on Conditions of Employment (Dorken, 1959), describing the area of employment as "Criminal (p. 21)," reported that the psychological services section of the Ontario Department of Reform Institutions consisted of fourteen psychologists whose chief reported directly to the Deputy Minister. This same report also made mention of the fact that psychologists were employed in the correctional services of British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

     It may be said that the late 1930s was a watershed for federal corrections. The Archambault Commission of 1938, in its report to Parliament on the penitentiary system, identified the reformation of offenders as an objective of the system (Archambault, 1938). This represented the first explicit, official postulation of such a principle (Griffiths, 1988). In response to the recommendations of the Archambault report, the first inmate classification officer in the federal Canadian Penitentiary Service (CPS) was engaged shortly after World War II. This individual was assigned to Kingston Penitentiary (Curtis et al., 1985; Garneau, 1992 - personal communication). Not long afterward, inmate classification officers were employed in all the federal institutions. These individuals, the first professionally trained staff in the Service, typically had received academic training in the social sciences (often psychology) to the Bachelor's degree level. Many were returning war veterans who had received their training by means of educational programs sponsored by the Department of Veteran Affairs and/or through involvement with the armed forces classification services during the war (Ciale, 1958-59; Ciale, 1992, and Garneau, 1992 - personal communication). The first federal correctional psychologist per se was engaged in 1955 at St. Vincent de Paul Penitentiary (later renamed Laval Institution) in the province of Quebec (Ciale, 1958-59). Unlike some of the early American correctional experiences or the typical organization to be found in Canadian mental health organizations, psychology in the CPS was not part of the medical or psychiatric components of the penitentiaries; from the outset it was organizationally related to inmate classification services.

     The then Commissioner of Penitentiaries Paul Faguy, in an address (prepared by Garneau) to the APA in Montreal in 1973, outlined the history of psychology in the CPS from 1955 to the present (Faguy, 1973). He noted that by 1960 there were six or seven psychologists employed each with a potential caseload of some eight hundred inmates. The 1960s witnessed an increase in the number of psychological positions available in concert with a high turnover rate and a difficulty in recruiting (not unlike the American experience) thus creating a situation whereby many positions were vacant and some institutions (and regions) were without psychological services. The early 1970s saw a turnaround in that situation with approximately fifty psychologists employed at the time of Faguy's presentation and the establishment of a target psychologist/inmate ratio of 1:150-200 in non-specialized institutions and 1:40 in the Regional Medical Centres (RMCs) and Regional Reception Centres (RRCs).

     Faguy alluded to the fact that the introduction of psychologists into the Penitentiary Service was not achieved without difficulty and the need for adjustment (cf., Powitsky, 1978, for a discussion of a similar experience in American federal corrections). Psychologists were not enamoured with what they saw as an inflexible, hierarchical, paramilitary organization and with the practice of reporting to nonprofessionals. The Service, on the other hand, had difficulty accommodating professionals who strived for a certain amount of autonomy and who were too often, according to Faguy, perceived as status conscious, prima donnas (cf., Papurt, 1934, for a similar perception of psychologists in American corrections). These types of difficulties were alleviated, he maintained, by attacking the problem on two fronts: the eventual and increasing seepage of behaviourial scientists into positions of authority and influence both at National Headquarters and at the regional and institutional levels; and the recruitment of more down-to-earth, yet qualified, individuals who could relate to line correctional staff and who could produce jargon-free, descriptive, understandable reports (see also Corsini, 1945; Garneau, 1961).

     Following Karrys' (1952) and Ciale's (1958-59) pioneering efforts, more articles of a descriptive nature began to appear in the literature. Ross (1967) described the psychology program at the Ontario Training School for Girls, Grandview. Psychologists were involved in the reception and diagnosis program as well as delivering treatment programs on the units for the behaviourially disordered and the emotionally disturbed. The setting was used as an applied training site for doctoral candidates in the clinical psychology program at the University of Waterloo. Outcome research was also reported as an important component of the services offered. It is interesting to note that the girls were committed for indeterminate periods of time (i.e., pre-dating the Young Offenders Act) thus it is presumed that treatment and prognosis of treatment outcome would play a large part in the length of time an individual would remain at the institution. Wright (1968), reports on the same institution and its programs from a more psychiatric, psychodynamic orientation.

     The sole report that I was able to find in the literature (as represented by the major Canadian and American journals) that did not emanate from either the federal or the Ontario provincial correctional systems comes from Manitoba. Bayer and Brodsky (1972) reported on psychological consultation services they delivered to that provincial correctional system. They noted that rehabilitation (as opposed to custody only) began to be emphasized at the Headingley Correctional Institution (i.e., a Manitoba provincial prison) around 1970. The services were provided via the University of Manitoba's clinical psychology, doctoral practicum placement program in concert with the prison's counselling services. The authors commented upon the resistance that was met from the heretofore custody-orientated correctional officers and the accommodation that had to be made both by the security staff and by the would-be counsellors.

     Issue #1 of the 1976 Ontario Psychologist was devoted solely to the topic of psychology in corrections. The introduction to the issue suggested that psychologists tend to find themselves involved in corrections more by accident than by design. Furthermore, correctional psychology, in terms of the number of individuals practising it, if not in terms of its content, had progressed " a full turtle's pace (p. 5)" since 1913 (an uncited reference referring, one presumes, to the initial work of Rowland in New York State noted above). Finally, the point was made that too often correctional psychologists found themselves working in a vacuum although the author thought this situation was about to change (Wolfgarth, 1976). Notable articles in the issue included a treatise by Norton (1976) on the interface between psychology and the criminal justice system. He noted that until recently, psychology's main role in corrections had consisted mostly of clinical work and research (one assumes he is speaking mainly of the Ontario provincial corrections experience as the role for federal correctional psychologists had been much more broadly defined for some time [e.g., Garneau, 1967]). He noted further, however, the recent call from the Law Reform Commission of Canada for more involvement in the areas of assessment and counselling services. Carlson (1976), the Chief Psychologist at the Guelph Correctional Centre, outlined the program of the new psychiatric treatment centre at that institution. He estimated that from one to three percent of convicted adult males were either psychotic, retarded or socially inadequate (cf., the recent CSC Report of the Task Force on Mental Health [1991] which suggests a much higher percentage and broader categorization of mental disorder among adult male offenders).

     Gendreau (1976) provided a description of the psychological services program offered at the Rideau Correctional Centre (first instituted by Andrews in 1969). He reported that the program was based on an empirical model of service delivery which emphasized a scientific, data collection approach following from the Boulder ideal of the scientist-practitioner. Gendreau perceived several advantages to this approach: it enabled an effective program evaluation follow-up to treatment service delivery which, in turn, necessitated the consequent, positive requirement of staff having to keep themselves current with the literature; the program evaluations provided staff with material to publish which resulted in enhanced visibility for them, the department and the institution; the research interests generated had the potential to attract funding from granting agencies; the data collection enabled the establishment of normative data bases and the potential for improved diagnosis; it supported a focused, target-behaviour orientation to treatment and thus treatment effectiveness; and it could serve the purpose of aiding administrators to manage via a management-by objectives approach (the current management vogue of the time, one presumes). Gendreau realistically warned, however, that a program evaluation orientation could lead to paranoid-like reactions on the part of other institutional departments, therefore caution and good communication practices were essential in order to avoid negative reactions and repercussions within the institution and perhaps, in the long run, for the psychology department itself. Finally, he felt, that such an approach would be conducive to attracting competent psychological personnel trained according to the Boulder model, the prevalent training model of Canadian graduate schools in psychology.

     Examples of the growth and spread of applied correctional psychology in Canada to areas literally beyond the prison and penitentiary walls can be found in the more recent literature. Dotzenroth (1982) reports on the delivery of psychological services to convicted offenders in the community; she describes a program of services begun in 1979 and delivered through the auspices of the Ottawa Probation and Parole Office, Ontario Ministry of Corrections. The activities consisted of providing consultation services to probation and parole officers, probationer/parolee assessments and some therapy. She notes the possibility of adopting either one of two possible service delivery models: "scientist-consultant (p. 456)" or direct service delivery. Given resource limitations, she recommends the former approach wherever and whenever possible which, in effect, provides consultant services to front-line probation and parole officers and therefore enables the psychologist to impact on the problems of many more clients than would be the case under a direct service delivery model. Finally, Bonta, Cormier, Peters, Gendreau and Marquis (1983) describe the delivery of psychological services to local jails and provincial regional detention centres. They note that services have not, until recently, been available to these types of institutions for a variety of reasons including unsuitable facilities, transiency of the population and the fact that a large segment of the population may be remand cases that have neither been convicted nor, of course, sentenced.

     The first attempt to survey Canadian correctional psychology was performed by Norton (1970). He informs us that the survey was undertaken at the request of Dr. Stanley Brodsky, then president of the AACP, who suggested that the membership of that body "...would be interested in the practice and status of correctional psychology in Canada (p. 57)." Norton makes the observation that, as of 1970, there was no recognized specialty in Canadian psychology entitled "correctional psychology" although, of course as we have seen, there were psychologists working in the field of corrections. He could not identify a distinctive body of knowledge (i.e., separate from mainstream criminology) nor any specialized graduate training programs. Four reasons were cited by Norton for what might be perceived as the relative underdevelopment of the field in comparison to the American experience. These were: 1) the ambivalence inherent in the correctional process (i.e., custody/punishment versus rehabilitation/treatment); 2) the perceived undesirable environment of the prison/penitentiary; 3) the question of whether the role of the psychologist can be satisfactorily and meaningfully integrated into that of a corrections organization; and 4) the question of whether crime is legitimately part of the field of inquiry of psychologists. These four reasons being directly related, it may be noted, to the relatively small size of the professional psychology community in Canada and the traditional recruitment practices that served to attract practitioners to the more standard and established areas of the discipline such as the mental health field. In other words, the demand for psychologists was greater than the supply, one implication of which was that comparatively esoteric, and perhaps less desirable, areas of practice such as correctional psychology often went begging.

     Norton's survey questionnaire was sent to seventeen different federal and provincial jurisdictions responsible for juvenile and adult corrections. Thirteen responses were received. Seven jurisdictions had positions which used the title "psychologist", one other jurisdiction used the titles "psychological technician" and "psychometrist". Of these seven jurisdictions, three required provincial registration or licensure. Five of the jurisdictions which did not use the position title of psychologist reported obtaining psychological services either privately or from other government departments. The master's degree was the typical minimum academic requirement. Forty-seven psychological staff were identified as working full-time in corrections, thirty-three in facilities for adults, fourteen with juveniles. Another thirty individuals were employed on a part-time basis, nineteen with adult corrections, eleven with the juvenile system. A further fourteen qualified individuals were employed in administrative or other posts.

     Gendreau (1975) undertook a survey of psychological test usage in Canadian corrections (english-speaking Canada only) for the years 1972-73. He received responses from all but one of the federal institutions employing psychologists and from every province except Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland (he does not report whether the Northwest and Yukon territories were surveyed). Not surprisingly, the responses preponderately represented the practices of the federal and Ontario provincial correctional systems. The most frequently mentioned, routine usage tests were the MMPI, the WAIS and WISC, the 16PF and the BETA. In the special referral category, the Raven's Matrices, the Rorshach, the Bender-Gestalt, the Kuder, the T.A.T., the E.P.I. and the G.A.T.B. headed the list. Gendreau made the important point, based on the survey results and the time period sampled, that test usage in the practice of Canadian correctional psychology reflected the more traditional approaches typical of mental health settings, while psychological tests developed and applicable to adult and juvenile delinquents were conspicuous by their relative absence. He pointed out that this finding highlighted the tendency of psychologists working in corrections to fall back on their training in clinical and mental health psychology when it came to test selection and usage. It would also seem to underline, I think, the paucity or complete absence of special academic or practical training in correctional psychology representative of the period. The attendant consequence of this lack of specialized training was that recruits to corrections simply did not bring the available, requisite skills and tools (i.e., tests) with which they could have been equipped.

     The final article to be considered in this section of the paper dealing with the history and early status of correctional psychology in Canada is that authored by Gendreau (1979) describing the results of a survey of administrative structures and patterns of the discipline. The survey was conducted in 1976. The ten relevant provincial departments and the federal authorities were contacted. Responses were received from twenty sites representing federal corrections, thirteen sites representing Ontario provincial corrections, and one site each representing corrections in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. One provincial jurisdiction did not reply while the other five indicated that either no services were provided or they were, at present, only in the process of developing such services. (Again, as in his earlier article on the subject of test usage, Gendreau gives no indication concerning the inclusion or exclusion in the survey of the two territories.) Noteworthy for the purposes of this paper, is the numerical difference between this survey and that of Norton (1970) in terms of the number of psychologists employed in corrections. Using Norton's apparent criterion of a minimum qualification level set at the master's degree, Gendreau's survey revealed that there were eighty-three correctional psychologists active in the field in 1976 (or ninety-four if bachelor degreed individuals are included - Norton's method of reporting his data is not clear on the point). This figure is contrasted to Norton's count of forty-seven, an increase of thirty-six (or forty-seven depending upon the academic criterion used) - not far shy of a one hundred percent increase over an approximately six year period! (And supportive of Faguy's [1973] contention that psychologists were being attracted to corrections in ever-increasing numbers.) Interesting differences appeared between the provincial and federal administrative structures for psychology at the institutional level. The provincial systems generally opted for a hierarchical organizational model (e.g., Chief Psychologist in charge of the department) while the federal system generally employed a collegial system of departmental organization and administration (except for its specialized institutions - e.g., RMCs and RRCs) with one member of the department voluntarily agreeing to take on some of the required and unavoidable administrative duties. (Parenthetically, eight of the sites reporting in the survey consisted of one-person departments.) Gendreau concluded the article on a positive note with the observations that correctional psychologists reported optimism with regard to their perception that they could make a positive contribution, that they were appreciated by management and that they considered themselves to have adequate authority over the practice of the discipline in the institution.


The Role of Correctional Psychologists in Applied Settings

     To this point, the paper has concerned itself with an historical look at the origins and evolution of applied correctional psychology. The modern era of the discipline may be said to begin, for both Canadian and American practitioners, with the AACP-sponsored publication entitled Psychologists in the Criminal Justice System (Brodsky, 1973). This work represents the first in-depth examination of the role and functioning of psychologists within all aspects of the system, that is, law enforcement, the judicial process, corrections, aftercare and victimology, and at all levels, for example, service delivery, policy formulation, program evaluation, etc. However, the chapters outlining the suggested role for applied criminal justice psychologists (e.g., see the relevant chapters by Brodsky [4, 6, 7, 8 & 13]; Gottfredson; Twain, McGee & Bennett; and Warren) were not the first attempt at role definition. Before dealing with the role prescriptions of Brodsky et al., it will be informative to review some of the other attempts.

Early Conceptualizations of Role: The American Experience

     The 1934 symposium on the work of psychologists in penal institutions cited earlier provides a glimpse of the nature of the activities in which psychologists were involved at the time and the way in which the role was evolving from that of being simply a mental tester. Intake assessment and classification was a common theme (Giardini, 1934; Jackson, 1934; Limburg, 1934; Mursell, 1934; Papurt, 1934; Partridge, 1934; Rackley, 1934). Others functions, listed as either activities in which the psychologist could or should be involved (Glueck, 1934) or as functions actually being performed included remedial work (Hovey, 1934; Giardini, 1934; Limburg, 1934; Mursell, 1934; Papurt, 1934; Rackley, 1934), research (Hovey, 1934; Giardini, 1934; Mursell, 1934), and assessment for parole suitability (Giardini, 1934; Hovey, 1934; Jackson, 1934; Mursell, 1934; Rackley, 1934).

     Giardini (1942) later listed in more detail the functions of a Pennsylvania prison psychology department as consisting of: 1) case study and classification, which he described as being investigatory, descriptive and diagnostic in nature and the results of which feed into various institutional board deliberations and decisions such as classification (the psychologist was a member of the board), work assignment, transfer and parole selection; 2) treatment, taking the form of assisting individuals to adjust to the institutional environment, "personality or habit treatment or guidance (p. 30)," improvement of family relationships, and planning for parole; and 3) miscellaneous, under which he included assisting in policy formation, training of supervisors and other personnel, supervision of student psychologists and research of both an administrative nature and in relation to one's own work and interests. Having outlined these functions, Giardini acknowledged that certain aspects of the role, as he described it, were more often aspired to than achieved under the existing penal conditions and practices. In the light of modern practice, he can be seen to have anticipated many of the more positive and useful aspects of the role that would eventually gain acceptance. Finally, Giardini made reference to the dilemma of the treatment/punishment conflict inherent in the confinement of offenders in penal institutions (cf., the introductory comments of this paper regarding the relationship and importance of these latter two elements and the practice of correctional psychology). His proposed solution was the development of better classification criteria and improved treatment techniques which he felt could play a large part in leading corrections away from excessive punishment and more toward rehabilitation.

     Corsini (1945) approached the role of an institutional psychologist in corrections more as an approximation to the role of the clinical psychologist in the mental health field. Thus we note an early and explicit example of the second major, and in this case post-World War II, influence of mainstream psychology on an evolving correctional psychology, that is, the influence of clinical/mental health psychology and the manner in which it could be enlisted to play a role in assisting attempts at personal reformation (cf., Bodemar, 1956; Park, 1956; Schenke, 1956; Sell, 1956). (The first influence, you may recall, being the discipline's earlier development of psychometric instruments designed to measure individual differences and their practical application via classification procedures.) Corsini noted three main functions of the institutional psychologist: 1) psychometrics; 2) personal, educational and vocational guidance; and 3) work in conjunction with the various officers and departments in the institution (i.e., what one might now term "consultation"). He saw the need for collecting data and compiling periodical statistics. Similar to the observation made by Faguy (1973) reported above, Corsini stressed the importance of the personality of the psychologist as a major contributing factor in establishing one's credibility with both staff and inmates and hence one's potential for effectiveness.

     Corsini and Miller (1954) undertook a survey of prison psychologists in 1952. One of the questions asked centred on the type of activities in which the psychologists were engaged. Fourteen activities were thus identified; they are listed according to the frequency with which they were mentioned: 1) measurement of intelligence; 2) measurement of personality; 3) writing reports; 4) staff meetings; 5) personal counselling; 6) evaluation of aptitudes; 7) research; 8) administration; 9) group therapy; 10) scholastic evaluation; 11) personnel work; 12) teaching the staff; 13) teaching inmates; and 14) lecturing to outside groups.

     With Lindner's (1955) description of the psychologist's role, we are introduced to a relatively new concept in corrections - the centralized reception and diagnostic centre. He noted that since World War II, the trend has been to designate one institution (or a section of an institution, depending upon the size of the correctional jurisdiction or its geographical dispersion) for such purposes. (The concept was much later in coming to federal corrections in Canada - it wasn't until the early 1970s that reception centres were established in two of the regions of the CPS.) Lindner suggested that the intake-diagnostic function was the major responsibility (if not the primary justification for the employment) of psychologists in corrections (cf., Brodsky, 1973, for a contrary viewpoint). He saw the intake function as consisting of the administration "...of a battery of mental tests and psychological interviews... (p. 362)" during the early stage of the inmate's "quarantine period (p. 363)" thereby serving as a sort of triage process, the goal of which was to identify and divert the seriously mentally ill, the significantly deviate and/or the mentally deficient. The diagnostic function occurred during the latter stages of "quarantine" and involved the administration of more individualized test batteries covering the areas of personality, aptitudes, interests, organicity, etc. The psychologist then made a clinical appraisal of the inmate integrating the test results with the his/her interview impressions. The clinical appraisal served as input into decisions affecting the inmate such as cell assignment (e.g., single, multiple or dormitory), security classification, and work, training and educational placements. Secondary aspects of the role included psychotherapy, counselling and guidance, and research - a unique attribute of the psychologist, Lindner maintained. One receives the impression that Lindner suggested these latter aspects of the role as being secondary due to an appreciation of the reality that insufficient psychological resources were available in corrections to do no more than scratch the surface, as it were, of the multitudinous personal and psychological problems that abounded below.

     Bodemar (1956) enumerated the functions of psychologists with the Wisconsin department of corrections psychiatric field services team as being: 1) contributing to traditional intake evaluation (via psychometric testing) and placement decisions, specification and anticipation of areas of difficulty and maladaptation, and suggesting "particularized (p. 10)" approaches to deal with such cases; 2) individual and group therapy; and 3) so-called emergent services more concerned with "institution-functions than inmate-functions (p. 11)" including such activities as inmate classification, sitting on pre-parole committees and on disciplinary courts, and offering training to staff both of a formal and an informal nature. Thus Bodemar was one of the first practitioners to conceptualize and state explicitly in the literature the notion that a correctional psychologist may have to serve more than one client group. He perceived a triad-like relationship in the institution involving inmates, administration and psychologists (i.e., the psychiatric field team) which gave rise to conflict and tension but through which the traditional custody/treatment dilemma was transformed by casting the professional in the role of intermediary between the other two groups. In such a manner, he maintained, was the inmate helped to learn to deal more realistically and effectively with the stress of the real world by learning to deal with the demands, rules and regulations of institutional management. Bodemar also noted the importance of research both as a service to administration and as a contribution to knowledge in the criminal justice field in general; as well, he spoke of the future need to establishment internship programs in concert with university graduate training programs.

     In California corrections of 1956, the role of the psychologist varied according to the institution in which an individual was employed and the function it served in the overall state system (Park, 1956). The various types of activities included diagnostic testing (using IBM automated scoring systems where applicable) and interviewing, group psychotherapy, counselling, providing in-service training, research, supervising psychology interns and the usual administrative tasks such as report writing, attending various boards, etc. Sell (1956) itemized the functions of the correctional psychologist employed with the Ohio department of corrections as consisting of the following: psychometric testing and inmate orientation; diagnosis and classification; preparing reports for the Ohio Pardon and Parole Commission; preparing pre-transfer reports; group and individual psychotherapy; pre-parole counselling; vocational guidance; providing consultation to administration, to the hospital, to industries, to the institutional court and to the inmate upon self-referral; and, interestingly enough, psychometric testing and evaluation of staff (see additional comments on this practice below). As noted earlier, Ohio was the first jurisdiction that I am aware of to undertake a rationalization of correctional psychological services through the compilation, organization and publication of a manual (Sell, 1955).

     There have been other attempts in the history of American applied correctional psychology, both before and after the Brodsky/AACP work, to outline and/or define the role of the applied correctional psychologist (e.g., Brodsky, 1980; Benson & Eshbaugh, 1964; Crespi, 1990; Crespi & Brennan, 1988; Krause, Dimick & Hayes, 1972; Lawrence, Kreiger & Bascue, 1977; Milan & Evans, 1987; McColskey, 1980; Lederman, 1965; Newman & Price, 1977; Otero, McNally & Powitsky, 1981; Pelc, 1977; Powitsky, 1978; Raines, 1967; Toch, 1981; Williams, 1974). Most tend to take the form of variations or elaborations on a theme, that is, on the discernible theme (see below) which is beginning to emerge from the above reported material. Two of the more interesting/unusual will be briefly reviewed before moving on to a review of the Canadian experience.

     A paper by Srivastava (1962) represents somewhat of an historical curiosity in that it presents the views of a practitioner who seemingly combines the paternalistic, impersonal (and I would argue, outmoded) approach of Lindner and colleagues (1947, and noted above) with what might be described as some very useful and thematic (in relation to the thesis of this paper) insights. The paper is a queer mixture of expressions of uncritical and complacent acceptance of psychological fads, misconceptions and truisms prevalent at the time, with enlightened and prescient insights. Examples of the former would be: "A criminal of any type is socially ill [p.49]"; the so-called "modern" discovery of "Psychiatry" that a criminal has a conscience [p. 49]; and his non-empirical classification of inmates into the categories of "conformist", "innovator", "ritualist", "retreatist" and "rebel" and the invariant behaviour that supposedly stems from membership in these categories [p.50], etc. Examples of the latter include his assertion that inmates must be involved in the development of their own programs (i.e., must be given the opportunity to make decisions about their rehabilitative needs), the recognition of the importance of group therapy, the necessity of the positive involvement of the community in institutional programs and the importance of pre-release planning and community follow-up. Srivastava recognized the fact that the correctional psychologist had a responsibility to the inmate, the institution and the community at large. His role prescription included the diagnostic classification of inmates using psychometric tests and interviews, being a member of the institutional disciplinary board wherein the task was to balance the nature of an inmate's personality with the structure and needs of the institution, helping administration predict and deal with inmate behaviour, and training custodial officers to be more professional and better informed regarding the causes of inmate behaviour.

     Rahn (1971) is the first author that I am aware of to question the mental health basis, or what he terms "the medical model assumptions", of the correctional psychologist's role. (Parenthetically, he noted that there was no division of correctional psychology extant in the APA of the day, and therefore concluded that it constituted neither a professional entity nor did it have an accepted role definition.) He offered an alternative conception of the role by approaching it from an industrial psychology perspective and posited a psychosocial model for behaviourial change within the framework of this conceptualization. In his view, industrial work in the institution should be viewed as the means through which an inmate can receive life skills and vocational skills training instead of being seen as an adjunct to the treatment of so-called disordered behaviour (i.e., the medical model). Such skills training, he maintained, would more effectively prepare an individual for successful community living.

Early Conceptualizations of Role: The Canadian Experience

     Although Karrys (1952) did not attempt to outline or define a role for correctional psychology per se but rather was intent simply on providing a description of the activities (she uses the term "duties") in which she was engaged at the Ontario Training School for Girls, a summary of those activities anticipates, in broad outline, the basic thematic role that was evolving in the United States and which culminated in the role prescription of Twain et al., (1973) and others (cf., Brodsky, 1973). The duties she outlined included: assessment (i.e., psychometric testing); consultation with the members of the counselling department, administration and members of the community; counselling and psychotherapy; staff training; and research. Karrys noted that by far the majority of her time was spent on the assessment portion of her duties.

Ciale (1957-58) itemized the functions performed by the psychologist in a federal penitentiary in the following manner: 1) diagnosis, evaluation and consultation wherein diagnoses based upon psychometric evaluations and interviews were utilized as diagnostic aids for the institutional psychiatrists, for the classification department and to assess an individual's suitability for various programs such as vocational training, and where consultation and evaluation services were offered to institutional management concerning problem cases, to the National Parole Service (NPS) ticket-of-leave program and to aftercare agencies, and to the inmate himself upon self-referral; 2) treatment, including counselling and therapy, generally provided only to immediate adjustment and emergency cases and to pre-release cases; 3) research and teaching in conjunction with the McGill University Department of Forensic Psychiatry; and 4) training of custodial staff from a behaviourial science perspective. The latter two functions are mentioned more as recognized needs rather than as services offered due to the lack of recognition of teaching and research as legitimate aspects of the institutional psychologist's role and the unavailability of adequate resources to provide the training. Ciale also noted two other functions for which he foresaw a future need: a centralized reception process (cf., Lindner, 1955); and the recruitment of more treatment personnel which would enable the establishment of group therapy programs.

     Garneau (1967) made the point that the role of the applied psychologist as simply "mental tester" in the mental health field had been abandoned for several years (cf., Abt, 1992). He noted that this was equally true in the field of corrections (cf., Glueck, 1934). He then offered a list of thirteen duties which would typically occupy the time of a psychologist employed with the CPS. These duties easily fit into the five main categories outlined above as abstracted from the duties listed by Karrys (1952) although some of the specific circumstances differ. (It is, perhaps, instructive to note that in Garneau's list, research activities were to constitute no more than 25% of the psychologist's time. This explicitly stated limitation could be seen, on the one hand, as an attempt by administration to exert some control over how the professional was to spend his time, that is to say, to limit the amount of time spent (indulged?) on research (idiosyncratic interests?) but, on the other, to provide some room for the undertaking of research given the daily pressure of more routine activities. Most of the CPS field psychologists, who had an interest in doing research would have considered the 25% limit an unrealistic luxury however.) Garneau went on to note that correctional psychologists offered services to both the "normal" and "abnormal" (in the mental health senses of the words) segments of the penal population; a practitioner was expected to attempt to modify the asocial or anti-social attitudes of so-called normal inmates as well as respond to the needs of the acutely or chronically mentally ill in the inmate population. Interestingly, from this vantage point, psychologists of the day were also asked to assess applications from prospective employees. This activity has long been abandoned by the Public Service Commission of Canada at the behest of the unions responsible for the staff involved on the grounds that such work constituted a form of invasion of privacy (cf., Sell, 1956).

     In the 1970 Norton survey of Canadian correctional psychology, the role abstracted from the survey data consisted of the following activities: 1) testing, assessment and report writing (consuming 48% of the psychologist's time); 2) so-called remedial work including counselling, psychotherapy and behaviour modification (30%); 2) staff training, in-service conferences, departmental committees, etc., (13%); and 4) research projects and surveys (13%). Norton noted that some jurisdictions were reporting an increasing demand for the delivery of consultation services to management/administration. By way of contrast however, several of the respondents noted that because of limited resources and consequent heavy caseloads, the necessity for concentration on basic services was being experienced. Comments received from correctional administrators noted the improvement in the quality of services over the past decade.

     The contribution of Bayer and Brodsky (1972) to correctional psychology in the province of Manitoba was noted earlier. These authors, who developed a consultant service and operated on a fee-for-service basis as opposed to salaried employees of the correctional service, described their role as consisting of: selecting residents for specific treatment units in consultation with the relevant staff and monitoring their progress; providing direct service to crisis cases; and providing assessment and evaluation of program proposals generated by institutional staff. They perceived future roles to include the establishment a community follow-up capability and the creation of a volunteer counselling program. Two other items of interest in the article relate to their conceptualization of the prison as a triangular social system and to the perception of staff as forming divisions along functional lines that lead to the creation of tensions and difficulties. The triangular social system consisted, in their view, of the inmate population, the custodial staff and the treatment staff, each with their own priorities and preoccupations of which one must take cognizance when attempting to introduce change. Similarly, the different interests and obligations of custodial, treatment and administrative staff must be taken into consideration if introduced change is to have the positive impact intended. Finally, in terms of the nature of the role played by psychological consultants in the field of corrections, it is worth noting that Bayer and Brodsky take a different view of the process from Gendreau and Andrews (1979). They suggested that the consultant's role was to enable others to do while the consultant acts as a backup resource to the doer, whereas Gendreau and Andrews recommended a more direct action model in which the consultant has hands-on involvement in program and/or service delivery. The latter contended, upon evaluating several years of offering consultancy services to various federal and provincial (Ontario) correctional sites, that the hands-on approach is more effective in terms of ensuring program/service enablement and continuance upon the departure of the consultants).

     Faguy (1973) noted that in the early 1970s the CPS embarked upon a program of recruiting applied social psychologists (in additional to the usual practice of recruiting clinical psychologists). The impetus for such a move was the implementation of the Living Unit Program (e.g., see Henriksen, 1976) - a derivative of the therapeutic community concept developed by Maxwell Jones (e.g., 1962, 1979). Inmates and frontline staff were to form communities within the larger penitentiary based upon physical housing arrangements or "units". The objectives of the living units were, among other things, to enhance open communication between inmates and staff members, to foster a supportive atmosphere through which inmates could encounter social learning and social growth opportunities, and to enable the selective reinforcement of positive and negative behaviours (Henriksen, 1976; Watkins, 1978). Frontline staff were to take on quasi-therapeutic roles; more emphasis was to be put on group work. The correctional psychologist, under this regime, was to serve more of a back-up, consultative support function to staff than had heretofore been the case. Given the social learning orientation of the program, academic training in applied social psychology was considered desirable and appropriate. The more general functions of CPS psychologists outlined by Faguy included the, by now, familiar breakdown of: assessment and diagnosis; therapy and counselling; program consultant (new); staff training; and research. Faguy did note that, due to pressures on the psychologist's time, he foresaw research being more frequently assigned to outside resources on a contract basis.

     Reynolds (1976) took an interesting approach to the custody/punishment versus treatment/rehabilitation dilemma. In describing a model for the operation of a psychology department in a correctional setting, he perceived psychology as providing three types of service to the institution and to the correctional service in general: the performance of those functions which are shared in common with all other institutional staff (safety and security of the institution, staff and inmates one presumes); the performance of those functions which require psychological expertise; and the training of other staff in order to acquaint, and hopefully to provide, them with some of the psychological knowledge that will render their interactions with inmates more positive and effective and be of genuine benefit to the correctional process in the truest sense of the term. Reynolds defined the areas of expertise that psychologists bring to corrections as consisting of the following: clinical psychology assessment and treatment; counselling psychology - e.g., living skills; developmental psychology - the understanding of behaviour and moral development as the consequence of parenting styles and family relationships; learning theory - eg., operant conditioning, reinforcement theory and behaviour therapy; organizational psychology - training supervisors and program managers in an appreciation and application of good management and communication skills; psychophysiology - e.g., biofeedback, mediated affect-arousal behaviours; and social psychology - e.g., group dynamics, attitude change, consultation work with line staff, etc. Within the context of the three areas of service and the domains of psychological expertise outlined above, Reynolds described the functions of the psychology department as consisting of administration, assessment, public relations, research, security, teaching and treatment. In so doing, he has extended the role of correctional psychology far beyond the traditional areas of the measurement of individual differences and the provision of mental health services.

     The role and functions of an "empirical clinical psychology department" have been outlined by Gendreau (1976) and were summarized earlier. Gendreau and Andrews (1979) outlined a series of functions performed in various provincial (Ontario) and federal (Ontario region) correctional institutions on a consultancy basis. They offered a model of the "scientist-consultant" which incorporated what they termed three basic elements of applied science: exploration of the problem and assessment of the controlling variables; design and implementation of an intervention plan based on the definition of the problem; and evaluation of the "applied value" of the program. They identified three important phases of the consultation process entry, participation and exit - each with its own set of variables, which can contribute to, or detract from, the success of the consultation enterprise. As noted earlier, success was defined as being program (or function) continuance after exit of the consultants). Of particular interest, in the context of this paper, are the type of functions, programs and services undertaken. These included, in addition to the five main thematic areas of assessment/diagnosis, treatment/counselling, consultation to staff and management, research and training, the following: program development (e.g., establishing an inmate volunteer program directed toward the elderly and the mentally retarded); program evaluation (e.g., examination of the effects of so-called "solitary confinement"); counselling of remand cases (i.e., detained but not-yet-sentenced individuals); crisis intervention; and community volunteer aftercare services. This work has served to add new dimensions to the role and functions of correctional psychology (cf., Bonta et al., 1983; Dotzenroth, 1982) expanding it into the area of community psychology (cf., Milan & Evans, 1987).

Modern Conceptualizations of Role

     The importance of the publication of Psychologists In The Criminal Justice System (Brodsky, 1973) has previously been alluded to. For the purposes of this paper at least, it may be said to serve as the demarcation point for the coming of age of the discipline of forensic psychology and the component of it which is of primary interest to us: correctional psychology. Twain et al., (1973) along with other contributors to the work (e.g., Brodsky, Gottfredson, and Warren) were the first to explicitly identify and elaborate upon the five thematic and generic functions of the psychologist's role, namely, assessment, treatment, training, consultation and research (including theory building). Their approach can be said to have been adopted by the AACP when its standards committee produced the Standards for Psychology Services in Adult Jails and Prisons (Levinson, 1980) in which, among other things, standards are established for various aspects of the psychologist's role. They (i.e., Twain et al.) also attempted to establish priorities governing the delivery of the functions by noting that, given limited resources, psychologists' efforts should be directed firstly toward problem definition and goal-setting (i.e., as in planning and program evaluation), secondly, to encouraging and assisting the development of computerized information systems in order to respond to information needs of planning and program evaluation activities and for the establishment of data bases, and lastly, to direct service to clients. Ironically, this prioritization schema often ran counter to the practical and established priorities of institutional management of the day.

     The CPS undertook a major review of the role of its psychological services group in 1978-79. The review process constituted an extensive and democratic exercise involving consultation with all of the psychologists employed with the Service; institutional, regional and national headquarters management representatives; and any other staff or professional groups whose activities had some interrelationship or contact with psychology (Hebert & Watkins, 1979). Interestingly, the activity areas outlined in the review, and recommended for promulgation in the relevant policy documents of the Service as the formal role for psychology, reflected the thematic and generic functions delineated by Twain et al. (1973). The functions included psychological diagnostic/assessment services; counselling and therapeutic intervention services; case consultant services and consultation services to management; staff training services (both formal and informal); and research involving basically applied research, program development and evaluation. The purpose for the delivery of psychological services was defined as:

To provide psychological diagnostic and assessment services at key points during the inmate's sentence to case managers, health care staff and decision makers; to help inmates resolve social/emotional problems and to learn and adapt more socially appropriate behaviour patterns; to provide counselling, therapeutic and crisis intervention services to inmates; to assist in the design, development and implementation of staff training programs; to participate in the design, coordination and assessment of applied research projects, program implementation/evaluation projects and other special projects; to offer case consultation services to the Case Management Team and behaviourial science consultation services to CSC staff and management (Watkins, 1982, p. 36).

The policy and procedures documents, in retrospect, may look overly detailed and potentially somewhat confining from a practitioners point of view; however, one must keep in mind the environment of the period. It was felt necessary, on the one hand, to justify the role of the psychological services group and thereby ensure its continued existence and vitality in times of economic recession and competition for resources, and, on the other, to spell out in rather specific terms to managers and administrators the comprehensiveness of the role correctional psychology can and should play. (Another intended outcome of the providing a comprehensive description was to assist the field psychologist in becoming, and being perceived by institutional management and other staff as, part of the mainstream of the organization [i.e., institution]). From a management perspective, the documents provided an improved measure of accountability over anything that had previously existed.

     Megargee (1982), in an article based upon an address given to the CPA in Quebec City in 1979, approached the delineation of functions within forensic psychology in a slightly different manner. He posited a matrix-like conceptualization of the role wherein three basic services - assessment, staff training, and treatment - form the columns of the matrix and the four branches (according to Megargee) of the criminal justice system - the courts, corrections, law enforcement and victims - form the rows. Of interest is his handling of the two other functions of the so-called generic/thematic model, he portrays research as being an integral aspect or component of the three basic services and makes no mention of consultation. It could be argued that he has made an implicit distinction between what may be called direct (i.e., the three basic functions) and indirect (i.e., research and consultation) services. Consultation, in this context, would seem to be of a different nature than the other services in that it is seen to constitute a manner of service delivery rather than a service per se.

     In some respects, this approach anticipated a further study carried out by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in relation to its psychological services group (Gerry & Watkins, 1985). (CSC is the current appellation of the federal correctional service, coined following the amalgamation of the CPS and the NPS in the late 1970s.) In an effort to establish a more rational basis on which to determine the group's human resource needs than the ubiquitous, but often misleading, psychologist-to-inmate ratio, an attempt was made to gauge manpower allotments on service needs and service delivery demands. The study proposed two alternative models: the status quo typified by heavy demands for front-line therapist and assessment activities; and an alternative model which allowed for emphasis to be put on differing activities depending upon the nature and needs of the institution involved, for the increase and reallocation of resources to areas previously not covered by psychological services (e.g., minimum security institutions and parole offices), and for, increased emphasis on activities such as case consultation, staff training, program development and evaluation, and the supervision of, and/or participation in (depending upon time available), group psychological intervention programs. It is interesting to note that no firm decision regarding either model was reached at the time of the submission of the study's findings to the senior management of the Service. The federal government of the day was in the midst of a broad review of the federal public service. The stated mandate of the review was to reduce government spending. The timing of the submission of the study was therefore not propitious. However the spadework was done and the foundation laid for the eventual reorientation and growth of the Service's correctional psychology group (cf., Report of the Task Force on Mental Health, 1991).

     Smith and Sabatino (1990) recently surveyed the membership of the AACP on the subject of the role and functions of psychologists working in American correctional institutions. They defined the role as consisting of the following eight functions: 1) diagnostics; 2) case management activities; 3) counselling/ psychotherapy; 4) consultation - both internal and external to facility; 5) in-service training - both internal and external to facility; 6) program administration; 7) program planning; and 8) research. (The manner in which they have defined items 2, 6 and 7 in the foregoing list would enable their inclusion under the more general rubric of consultation in the thematic/generic model.) Thus one can see that the perception and definition of the role of the correctional psychologist had reached some degree of agreement, consistency and stability in the literature, at least, since the appearance of the watershed AACP publication (Brodsky, 1973).

     It is of interest to note that Smith and Sabatino compared the actual amount of time spent performing each of the functions listed with the respondents' perception of the ideal allocation of time to them. Table 1 presents the data. It can be seen that there were discrepancies between the actual and the ideal times. The largest of these occurred for the program administration (19% actual vs. 11% ideal), diagnostics (24% actual vs. 19% ideal) and research (5% actual vs. 9% ideal) functions. The respondents felt that they spent too much time on program administration and diagnostics activities and not enough time doing research. They wanted to spend marginally more time involved in counselling/psychotherapy, training and program planning activities while spending slightly less time on case management duties. Their perception of the amount of time they would like to spend on consultation activities matched the actual time so spent. Three functions occupied over sixty percent of the psychologists' job time - diagnostics, counselling/ psychotherapy and program administration.

Table 1: Time in Percentages for Each Role Function*

Actual Time (%)
Ideal Time (%)
1) Diagnostics
24.00 (Mean)
0-90 (Range)
19.00 (Mean)
0-80 (Range)
2) Case Management Activities
11.00 (Mean)
0-40 (Range)
10.00 (Mean)
0-40 (Range)
3) Counselling/Psychotherapy 20.00
0-80 (Range)
23.00 (Mean)
0-80 (Range)
4) Consultation
9.00 (Mean)
0-40 (Range)
9.00 (Mean)
0-40 (Range)
5) Training
5.00 (Mean)
0-20 (Range)
7.00 (Mean)
0-30 (Range)
6) Program Administration
19.00 (Mean)
0-99 (Range)
11.00 (Mean)
0-60 (Range)
7) Program Planning
6.00 (Mean)
0-40 (Range)
8.00 (Mean)
0-40 (Range)
8) Research
5.00 (Mean)
0-99 (Range)
9.00 (Mean)
0-99 (Range)

* Adapted from Smith & Sabatino (1990, pp. 168 - 170).
** Less than 100% due to rounding.

     The range of scores for each function provides an interesting insight into the various forms both the actual and the ideal role of a correctional psychologist take. For each function outlined, the lower end of the range is represented by a score of zero percent signalling that not all functions are performed by all the respondents nor are all functions considered to be important (or perhaps desirable) by them. The authors interpreted their data as indicating that the role of correctional psychology in the institutional setting has shifted from a "direct diagnostic-intervention model" to one wherein the practitioner is more "...immersed in the environment of the institution, providing information and professional help to and for a variety of people (p. 172)." Furthermore, they conclude, the modal role for correctional psychology now emphasizes less the clinical/mental health model in comparison with a social learning approach.

Critique of the Role

     At the same time that correctional psychology was emerging as a distinct entity and beginning to find its place among the panoply of specialities in the general field of psychology, serious doubts were being raised concerning the effectiveness of rehabilitative efforts, particularly in the form of treatment programs, within correctional settings (e.g., Logan, 1972; Martinson, 1974; Martinson, 1976; Schlesinger, 1979). The upshot of this critical examination was - as Toch (1981; see also Wick, 1974) has remarked in another context referring to the number of resources (minimal) allocated to the rehabilitative enterprise and to the climate (often inhospitable) in which it was attempted - the demise of the so-called "age of rehabilitation" before it ever had a chance to really begin! The demise, furthermore, was only in the eyes of some (Andrews, 1990; Andrews & Bonta, 1991; Andrews & Wormith, 1989). Others, integrally involved in the enterprise, offered hope, encouragement, and theoretical and program-evaluative guidance to field practitioners through re-examination and reformulation of the treatment-effectiveness literature (e.g., Andrews & Bonta, 1991; Andrews, Zinger, Hoge, Bonta, Gendreau & Cullen, 1990; Gendreau & Andrews, 1990). What follows is a review of the literature critiquing the role and practice of correctional psychology (as opposed to a review of what works and what doesn't work in terms of the effectiveness of different types of correctional treatment programs).


     Corsini (1959) provided an early glimpse of the difficulties a psychologist encountered in corrections with regard to the expectations of non-psychologists concerning psychometric testing, the trap a practitioner might fall into by letting his/her role be defined solely by the psychometric demands/needs of others (cf., Corsini & Miller, 1954), the misapplication of tests by both psychologists and nonpsychologists and the misinterpretation of test results especially in a culturally-mixed population such as that often found in prisons. In the former instance, the impossible or the nonsensical would often be asked, while in the latter, the danger lay in finding a too-comfortable niche that, in the long run, was neither challenging nor productive (one is reminded of Glueck's [1934] caution and Brodsky's [1973, pp., 77-78] description of the "straw man" prototype of an institutional psychologist which he contrasted to the "positive involvement" prototype). In terms of misapplication and misinterpretation, the professional qualifications on the one hand, and the professional currency on the other, of the individuals involved were subject to question leading to concerns about the type of practitioner attracted to (or by) employment in the correctional field and who subsequently stayed for any length of time.

     Corsini was essentially addressing the psychometric domain of intelligence testing. Another aspect of the domain that had been targeted for criticism was, and is, the assessment or prediction of dangerousness (or future violent behaviour) to which psychologists have all-too-often fallen heir (Cormier, Gainer, Bonta and Cyr-Haythornthwaite, 1991; Brodsky, 1973; Clingempeel, Mulvey & Reppucci, 1980; Milan & Evans, 1987; Monahan & Monahan, 1977; Nassi, 1975; Tapp, 1976). Two factors are generally cited which render such an undertaking tentative at best and counter-productive at worst - the low base-rate of the phenomenon (Clingempeel et al., 1980; Tapp, 1976) usually resulting in overly conservative offender release strategies (i.e., too many false positives), and the seemingly inherent quality of vagueness (Tapp, 1976) and/or arbitrariness which plagues any attempt to satisfactorily, operationally define dangerous or violent behaviour in the context of statutory documents such as criminal codes. Thus the position that psychologists should refrain from performing such assessments (Monahan & Monahan, 1977) or that they should only do so with utmost caution (Brodsky, 1973, 1980) and explicit specificity as to the purpose of the assessment, the conditions under which it applies and the factors upon which it is based (Brodsky, 1980; Cormier et al., 1991; Monahan, 1978, 1980, cf., Recommendation #9).

Who is the Client?

     Brodsky (1973) crystallized several concerns that were coming to the fore in correctional psychology. One issue was the problem of who, in fact, constituted the practitioner's client. Was it the incarcerated offender? Was it the correctional agency or system (or perhaps the society at large) that employed the psychologist? Or was an answer to be found on some middle ground between these two extremes? Brodsky personified these three different positions, respectively, by what he termed the "system challenger", the "system professional" and a "mid-point" position between the two.

     The "system challenger" was characterized as taking the position that treatment could not be effective in a punitive system; furthermore that, in a system that had the power of granting or withholding freedom based upon performance in response to the administration of (or acquiesence to) treatment, it would be unavoidable that treatment would become a negative or coercive factor in an inmate's life. (This latter claim was a particular criticism directed toward the practice of imposing indefinite sentences in some American state and the federal correctional system(s) [see also Clingempeel et al., 1980; Haney, 1982; Nassi, 1975; Silber, 1974]. It is useful to note that the use of such sentencing practices was much more restricted in Canada.) In addition, a psychologist who practised in the employ of a correctional system could not help but be co-opted by the demands characteristics of the situation and the agency (see also Emmons, 1976; Milan & Evans, 1987; Nassi, 1975; Nietzel & Moss, 1972; Quijano & Logsdon, 1978). No professional activity carried out within such an arrangement could be totally objective and value-free (cf., Arcaya, 1987; Schlesinger, 1979). The personal and professional ambitions of the psychologist would also play a role in the co-opting process.

     The "system-professional", on the other hand, was presented as taking the view that treatment was more effective than punishment (therefore psychology should be involved in the correctional process), that the professional could contribute to the definition of goals and objectives of the agency - could in fact influence policy and practices, that personal and professional ambition could co-exist with the goal of "doing good" for the offender, and that one should attempt the "do-able", that is, do one's best for the offender, keeping his/her interests in mind, while working within the established parameters of the system. The "mid-point" position was represented as appreciating the fact that treatment was appropriate for some, but certainly not all offenders (and by extension, one presumes that indefinite sentences would be appropriate for some, but not all), that a practitioner could function effectively given (and within) the clout and credibility of the system while, at the same time, not lose one's ability to experience and express indignation and dissatisfaction with its obvious faults and inequities, and finally, that both society and the offender had rights that must be respected and somehow balanced (see also Cornell, 1987).

     The crucial elements for providing effective service, Brodsky suggested, were for the psychologist to remain as objective as possible, to be a conceptualizer, to make oneself aware of the organizational structure within which one functioned and to not allow oneself to be co-opted by a faulty correctional system. This discussion, of course, anticipated, and perhaps helped initiate, further work on the professionalization of the discipline. The APA established a task force in 1975 to examine this and other issues (Monahan, 1978, 1980). The task force made twelve recommendations concerning the practice of forensic psychology which, for all practical purposes, have become a set of ethical standards of the profession although not to everyone's satisfaction (e.g., McColskey, 1980). In broad outline, a case can be made that the recommendations represent Brodsky's hypothetical "midpoint" position on defining who is the client as well as incorporating the crucial elements for the provision of effective service he suggested and which are noted, above.

Mental Health Model

     Several authors have commented on the inappropriateness of the mental health model for correctional psychology. (It should be noted that in some of what follows, the mental health model and the medical model are dealt with as interchangeable constructs.) Some have argued that the model cannot properly be practised in settings that are essentially custodial, punitive and anti-rehabilitative in nature (Arcaya, 1987; Emmons, 1976; Toch, 1961; also cf., introductory remarks - this paper); others contend that there are too many demands on the institutional psychologist's time for him/her to be in any way effective within the model's precepts (Milan & Evans, 1987); others, who take a "system challenger" stance, maintain that the employee-psychologist has, ipso facto, violated the client-therapist relationship on many fronts not the least of which involves the issue of confidentiality (Nassi, 1975; Nietzel & Moss, 1972; Schlesinger, 1979); others who believe that the model is perverted when applied in a correctional setting which puts the responsibility for deviancy (and for change) solely on the individual rather than also focusing on the system (society) that helped shape the individual and hence contributed to the deviancy (Haney, 1982; Nassi, 1975; Nietzel & Moss, 1972); still others who level the charge that the application of the model reflects a middle-class bias toward the causes of crime and criminality (Bazelon, 1973; Nietzel & Moss, 1972); and finally, those who see a place for the mental health model but only as one alternative among many (e.g., situational or behaviourial models, atheoretical empirical approaches, industrial psychology approaches, etc.) that may also lead to positive change in an individual (Brodsky, 1973; Rahn, 1971; Silber, 1974).

     Certain of these criticisms have been responded to with the riposte that practising within the precepts of the mental health model in corrections creates no more difficulty for the practitioner than doing so as employees, say, of publicly funded mental health institutions, the military, corporations, or being involved in civil disputes such as child custody cases, etc., (Megargee, 1982; Cornell, 1987). (And the making of this point, it should be noted, in no way diminishes the difficulties that exist for any of these practitioners.) There is now no shortage of useful ethical and practice guidelines published by the various relevant professional bodies (i.e., the AACP, the American Correctional Association [ACA], the APA, the CPA) for the reference, use and benefit of the practitioner engaged in correctional psychology just as there are (and there is the perceived need) for other areas of the discipline. Others of the criticisms, while valid, do not constitute ironclad rationalizations militating against the practice of correctional psychology. Brodsky (1980) has perhaps best summarized the situational realities faced by the correctional psychologist and the caveats that must always be kept in mind while practising the discipline. He noted three emerging (at the time) principles of practice: 1) the practitioner (or the system) cannot take away an individual's basic rights and then use them as (say) reinforcers in treatment (see also Tapp, 1976); 2) informed consent must always be obtained whether for assessment, treatment, research or any other activity; and 3) the client's (inmate's) participation in whatever the activity must be voluntary. He advocated a due process model for psychological service delivery in corrections stemming from these principles and consisting of the following seven components:

  1. the assumption of the prisoner's nondangerousness unless proven otherwise;
  2. the assumption of the prisoner's normality unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary;
  3. the affording of the opportunity for the client to confront psychological information and accusers;
  4. assessment, treatment and research decisions should be routinely open to review by professional and citizen committees (appellate review);
  5. explicit written procedures should be available to all clients in understandable, lay language;
  6. the client has the right to refuse treatment;
  7. the client has the right to remain silent in the assessment procedure.
    (Adapted from Brodsky, 1980, pp. 91-92).

It was assumed that such a service model would enable the ethical practice of correctional psychology (and no doubt serve to deflect and/or deflate criticisms such as the ones enumerated above) whether or not it was based upon mental health principles.

Other Considerations in the Delivery of Psychological Services in Correctional Institutions

Resource Standards

     Bazelon (1973), a United States Court of Appeals judge who was initially instrumental in ensuring that mental health services were available to incarcerated individuals in penal institutions, accused psychologists of making the assumption that the profession can make an important contribution to the field of corrections then, without examining the validity of the assumption, proceeding to ask for more and more human and fiscal resources to enable and to enhance its involvement. He questioned, in this context, whether psychology was really interested in doing "good" for the offender or in simply doing well for itself. This accusation has since been responded to (see below under Unique Contributions of Psychology), however it serves as an apt introduction to the issue of establishing appropriate resource standards for the effective delivery of psychological services.

     The lament for more resources first surfaced in the literature when Giardini (1942) noted that in 1939 there were three hundred and twenty-six state and federal institutions in the United States housing over two hundred thousand inmates. Only a small minority of these institutions had any psychological services with adult corrections faring more poorly than its juvenile counterpart (Giardini, 1942). Corsini (1945) reported an estimated psychologist/inmate ratio for the year 1945 of 1:2000 while Lindner (1955), a decade later, estimated the ratio to be 1:3000. Corsini and Miller (1954), in their 1952 survey of prison psychologists asked the respondents to provide information on psychologist-to-inmate ratios including their perception of an ideal ratio. The average actual ratio reported was 1:750 while the national ratio, based upon the number psychologists known to be working in the field compared to the number of state and federal correctional institutions and their aggregated populations, was estimated to be 1:3300. The median ideal ratio was 1:250 with the response range spanning a continuum of ratios from 1:51 to 1:500. It is of interest to note that the psychologist/inmate ratio eventually became the accepted yardstick by which resource levels and resource needs were measured (e.g., American Correctional Association, 1966) although it has long been recognized that such a calculus leaves much to be desired (Brodsky, 1973).

     The ACA Manual of Correctional Standards (1966) established a minimum staffing standard for prison psychology of one psychologist per two hundred "normal" inmates and three psychologists per seventy-five inmates with special needs such as repetitive sex offenders or "the severely disturbed". Since the publication of these standards, several surveys of correctional psychology utilizing varying methodologies of have been undertaken with somewhat interesting results. In 1972, Gormally and Brodsky (1973) surveyed American state correctional systems. They received responses from thirty-one states representing a total inmate population of approximately one hundred and four thousand. The thirty-one states employed a total of two hundred and twenty-one full-time psychologists and forty part-time psychologists for a psychologist-to-inmate ratio of just under 1:400. They noted a high degree of variability among the state systems regarding staffing standards.

     Pallone and LaRosa (1979) examined the employment of various mental health personnel in both the state and federal correctional systems using data collected by various U.S. federal government agencies in 1977 and 1978. Based on their figures, the psychologist/inmate ratio in federal corrections for those years was 1:254 while in the state correctional systems the ratio was 1:515 (note that the ratio is based upon all states reporting as contrasted to the 31 state response rate of the Gormally & Brodsky [1973] survey). One of the interesting general conclusions reached by the authors was that, while many state correctional facilities report extensive mental health programs, inspection of the number of full-time mental health professionals (i.e., psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and correctional counsellors) employed reveals the fact that there are insufficient resources available to enable such program delivery. (In a subsequent article [Pallone, Hennessy & LaRosa, 1980], they posit the possibility that the programs are in fact offered by para- or "subprofessionals" whom they calculate to possess an average level of educational attainment of eight years! - cf., Struckoff, 1978, for a similar critique of the deprofessionalization of corrections.)

     Monahan (1980) reported data for U.S. federal corrections that enabled an estimate of a psychologist/inmate ratio of 1:300. This represents a slight decrease in the number of federal prison psychologists when compared to Gormally and Brodsky's (1973) data. Otero, McNally and Powitsky (1981) undertook an omnibus survey of correctional psychology in the United States (federal, state and territorial) and Canada (federal only). They received replies from forty-six of the sixty-three jurisdictions contacted for a response rate of seventy-two percent. The results indicated that there were six hundred and seventeen psychologists employed with the correctional systems represented (352 at the master's level, 265 at the doctoral level). The psychologist/inmate ratio for this jurisdictional mix was reported as 1:376.

     The AACP established its own set of general ethical and practice standards for psychological services in adult jails and prisons (Levinson, 1980). The question of resource standards was again addressed in terms of psychologist-to-inmate ratios. A ratio of one psychologist per two hundred to two hundred and fifty inmates was recommended. In specialized units or institutions (e.g., drug treatment), the recommended ratio was 1:100-125. Thus from the data yielded by the above-noted surveys, it can be seen that in "normal" institutions, the U.S. federal corrections system more closely approximated the human resource standards established by the ACA and by the AACP than did the various state systems in the 1970s and early 1980s.

     In a Canadian context, the CPS informally and gradually (over a period covering the late 1960s and the early- to mid- 1970s) adopted an approximation of the ACA ratio guidelines. In 1973, Faguy reported to the Montreal meeting of the APA a ratio guideline for the CPS of 1:150-200 for so-called "normal" maximum and medium institutions and 1:40 for specialized institutions such as Regional Reception Centres and Regional Medical Centres. Prior to this, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the ratio was as high as 1:800 (Faguy, 1973). The Watkins and Hebert (1978) report later recommended the establishment of a fixed ratio of 1:150 for the staffing of psychological services groups in maximum and medium institutions and the extension of services to minimum security institutions.

     The work by Gerry and Watkins (1985) represented an attempt by the CSC to establish a more empirical and substantive approach to the rationalization of human resource level needs by tying them to the type or nature of service to be delivered (i.e., needs related) on the one hand, and to a closer examination of where the needs actually existed and where they were not being met (e.g., minimum security institutions and parole offices), on the other. Current staffing levels in the CSC would seem to reflect a combination of the pre-existing psychologist-to-inmate ratio and the approach taken by Gerry and Watkins (cf., CSC Report of the Task Force on Mental Health, 1991; Graham, 1990) although there are regional differences in implementation; the overall psychologist-to-inmate ratio now more closely approximates 1:100 than 1:150.


     Three issues generally arise when contemplating the organization of psychological services in corrections: 1) the nature of the organizational structure of the psychology department itself; 2) the degree of autonomy of the department in relation to other professional and case management services; and 3) to what level in the organization of the institution and in the overall correctional system should the discipline report.

     In terms of the first issue, two models were encountered in the literature - a hierarchial model wherein a chief or a director heads the department (assuming it to consist of more than one person) with responsibility for both professional and administrative matters, and a collegial model in which the member psychologists function on a peer basis with one member, usually on a rotational basis, performing the necessary administrative functions required to function within a bureaucratic structure. The hierarchial model is by far the most common. Moreover, the one example of the collegial model, that of the CSC psychological services, seems to be on the verge of converting to an hierarchical version (CSC Report of the Task Force on Mental Health, 1991). (It may be argued that the collegial model which prevailed in the federal service was nothing more than an artefact of a ruling made by the Treasury Board (TB) Secretariat of the federal government concerning classification, and hence salary, levels of psychologists in institutions with hierarchically organized departments. The TB rulings made such an organizational structure disadvantageous to the junior psychologists in the department in terms of salary and would have made recruitment even more difficult. The author does not subscribe to the "artefact" view totally however. The collegial approach had inherent value and provided benefits to the department and to the larger organization aside from salary considerations of department members.)

     In relation to the second issue, the autonomy of the institutional psychology department relative to other professional and case management services, there would appear to be evidence for an evolution toward professionally autonomous psychology departments reporting to a senior institutional administrator (Gendreau, 1979; Levinson, 1980; Powitsky, 1978). Some of the earlier writings depicted psychologists as either reporting to medical or psychiatric department heads (e.g., Corsini & Miller, 1954) or that such an arrangement represented the preferred option (Lindner, 1955). In federal corrections in Canada, psychology has always functioned independently of medical or psychiatric departments at the institutional level (Garneau, 1967; Faguy, 1973; Hebert & Watkins, 1979 - the single exception being the early organizational structures of the Regional Medical/Psychiatric/Treatment Centres).

     Insofar as the reporting level aspect of organizational considerations is concerned, little explicit discussion of the topic occurs in the literature. However some recognition was expressed early on that it was important for psychology to report to a sufficiently senior level of management in order for it to have an impact on policy and procedures and to ensure an appropriate level of professional autonomy (Garneau, 1961; Gendreau, 1979; Lindner, 1955; also Garneau, 1992, personal communication). It would seem that, in some jurisdictions at least, psychology initially enjoyed the benefit of such reporting relationships (Corsini, 1945; Dorken, 1959; Faguy, 1973) along with other professional entities such as medicine, psychiatry and chaplaincy.

     There appears to have been a retreat from that position (again one can only speak of the situation experienced in some jurisdictions) in that the literature later indicates a dissatisfaction with the profession's status and reporting relationships in both the U.S. (Otero et al., 1981) and Canada (Faguy, 1973). In the Canadian federal context, the situation has since improved. Psychologists in the nonspecialized penitentiaries now report at the Deputy Warden level despite attempts in the most recent institutional reorganization to have the discipline located much further down the chain of command.

     Two reasons may be posited for the apparent pressures that affect the reporting level of psychology. One relates to control and the perception of management and other staff that too much autonomy means too little accountability (cf., Faguy, 1973; Garneau, 1961). The other relates to what may be termed bureaucratic gamesmanship, that is, the classification of management positions (and hence salary) is dependent, among other things, upon the type of staff reporting to the position. Responsibility for professional staff is therefore highly prized. Competency, efficiency and demonstrated effectiveness will generally counteract the first pressure (e.g., Gendreau, 1976), small "p" political astuteness the latter. (The latter pressure becomes even more relevant at the regional and national headquarters levels in those correctional systems large enough to warrant such bureaucratic structures and where the contribution of the discipline is sufficiently well-regarded and/or appropriately well-represented that there is a clear line of professional direction and responsibility throughout all levels of the organization.)

     Of course, in the best of all possible organizational worlds, reporting levels, hierarchical versus flat organizational structures, etc., should not be important. Flexible, flat and open organizations which could exploit the symbiotic relationship between power and responsibility through the sharing of accountability, the fostering of team work, allowing creativity to be informed by multiple input channels, empowerment, information sharing and a collegial approach to problem solving perhaps could render many of the above organizational considerations and concerns obsolete. Whether correctional system bureaucracies, not particularly known for being positioned on the cutting edge of organizational change, will ever evolve in such progressive directions remains to be seen.


     Spielberger et al., (1973) reviewed the state of graduate training in the U.S. available for psychologists interested in pursuing a career in corrections (i.e., training in the sub-specialty of correctional psychology). The findings were not overwhelming although encouragement was taken from the fact that four programs had recently been established (e.g., Fowler & Brodsky, 1978). (A subsequent survey by Brodsky & Gormally [1973] reported the existence of 8 graduate training programs - including 3 of the 4 noted above - of varying degrees of specialization and interdisciplinary involvement.) Norton (1970) reported that there were no graduate correctional training programs offered by psychology departments at Canadian universities as did Gendreau (1979; cf., also Dotzenroth, 1982). This provides a substantive basis for Megargee's (1982) typification of psychologists working in the field (i.e., post World War II until only recently) as pioneers (cf., Wick, 1974). Demand continued to outstrip the supply of sub-specialty trained professionals well into the 1980s as evidenced by the survey of American and Canadian Chief Psychologists in federal corrections concerning the training needs of new recruits (Levinson, 1985).

     The early surveys in both the U.S. and Canada (Corsini, 1945; Corsini & Miller, 1954; Gendreau, 1979; Norton, 1970; Otero et al., 1981) indicated that individuals working in the field and answering to the title "Psychologist" possessed varying levels of academic qualifications. Reported earned degrees ranged from the bachelor level (no doubt there were sub-bachelor level practitioners as well) to the doctoral level. It was recognized that, in the early years at least, it would be impossible to produce a sufficient number of sub-specialty Ph.D.s to meet the demand for practitioners. Nevertheless, there was concern that a minimum qualification level be established and that the master's degree constitute the minimum qualification (Spielberger et al., 1973).

     Recent literature (e.g., Heilbrun & Annis, 1988; Melton, 1987) indicates a veritable mushrooming of university-based, forensic psychology, graduate training programs in the United States. Although I was unable to locate an update dealing specifically with the state of sub-specialty, correctional psychology training programs in the literature, it seems reasonable to assume that it is sharing proportionately in this increase in training opportunities. The Canadian picture is somewhat clearer.

     Simourd and Wormith (1992) recently completed a survey of psychology graduate training programs at Canadian universities. Twenty-seven departments were contacted in the survey representing the existing english-language, graduate training programs (as identified through information received from the CPA). Responses were received from twenty-three for a response rate of slightly over eighty-five percent. Of the twenty-three respondents, eleven (48%) indicated no involvement with corrections or the criminal justice field, four (17%) indicated involvement in the general of area criminal justice (i.e., forensic psychology) but not specifically corrections related, while eight (35%) reported corrections relevant content available to graduate students registered in their training programs. Three (37.5%) of these latter programs were of a structured nature, that is, a specific program of study was to be followed, whereas the other five (62.5%) involved primarily self-directed study and training. Thus relative to the state of training in correctional psychology in 1979 (Gendreau, 1979) - and possibly 1982 (Dotzenroth, 1982) - with the situation today, the availability of training programs has gone from nonexistent to a comparative embarrassment of riches within a ten-year period! Correctional training opportunities also exist in other contexts, for example, the Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, offers a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology with sub-specialty training in correctional psychology constituting part of the program. Queen's University, in concert with the CSC, now offers correctional psychology training to incumbent CSC psychologists (Quinsey, 1992, personal communication).

Further Evidence of the Growth of Correctional Psychology

     In a sense, most of the foregoing sections of this paper have provided testimony to, initially, the increasing involvement of psychology in corrections and, subsequently, the development and growth of a correctional psychology sub-specialty. That evidence will therefore not be repeated here. There are however other indicators that are worthy of mention.

     Brodsky (1973) presented data which indicated that nearly half of the research grants awarded in fiscal year 1972 by the Center for the Study of Crime and Delinquency, the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, went to psychologists. This compares to an award rate of just over thirty-three percent in the years preceding 1972. Rice and Quinsey (1986), in their review article on the contributions of Canadian applied psychological research to correctional and psychiatric institutions, cited a total of two hundred and fifty-seven references. One hundred and four (40.5%) of this number are corrections related. Review of the publication dates of the articles cited reveals a steady growth in numbers over the years with real growth beginning circa 1972 and carrying on in an increasing fashion into the 1980s. (One should, however, be aware of the possibility of a confounding artefact relating at least to one aspect of this analysis in that computerized, literature-search, data banks such as PsychLit, go back to 1972 only, with the consequent implication that some pre-1972 articles may have been overlooked. Nevertheless, there remains the evidence of a trend of an increasing number of publications appearing post-1972.)

     Gabor and Roberts (1991) performed a content analysis on correctional research appearing in what they termed "...the two leading Canadian criminological journals (p. 3)" - the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminologie. The content analysis covered a period of thirty years. The author's found that, of the total number of research studies focusing on corrections (150), fifty (30.3%) were undertaken by psychologists. The next, most frequently represented, academic discipline was sociology with thirty-nine (23.6%) studies. A similar picture is presented when the body of research examined deals with program evaluation - psychology accounts for over forty-seven percent (i.e., 47.7%) of these studies, the highest percentage of any of the disciplines represented. Unfortunately the authors did not analyze research activity trends over time in relation to academic discipline, therefore precluding the possibility of speaking, based upon their data, to the existence of increasing, decreasing or stable contribution rates. Finally, and again in term of the extant research literature, the work by Andrews, Gendreau and their colleagues (e.g., Andrews et al., 1990; Gendreau & Ross, 1987) on, respectively, the meta analysis of the effectiveness of correctional treatment programs and treatment program effectiveness in general for both adult and juvenile corrections, provides ample evidence of the growth and maturity of the research side of correctional psychology.

     Another potential measure of psychology's increasing involvement in the area of corrections, and the criminal justice field in general, is the amount of program time allocated to, or the numbers of presentations made at, the relevant professional, annual general meetings. Brodsky (1973) noted the number of APA convention presentations on criminal justice rose from three or four in the mid-1960s to over twenty in the early 1970s. Fowler and Brodsky (1978) updated this latter figure to nearly thirty presentations in the mid-1970s. The CPA annual convention also bears witness to this increased activity. While I am not in a position to be able to present quantitative data, speaking as a former chairperson of the Section on Criminal Justice Systems and as a fairly regular attender at the conventions over the last fifteen or more years, I can personally attest to the steady increase in program time allotment and in the number of paper and poster presentations relating to correctional psychology.

The Unique Contribution of Psychology

     As noted earlier, Bazelon (1973) accused psychologists of making the assumption that they have something to contribute to corrections yet never making the attempt to validate it. Such an accusation called for examination and response and, if the accusation was shown to be false (or wrong-headed), an itemization of those attributes which the discipline, either uniquely or in concert with other disciplines, introduces into the correctional process. Koran and Brown (1973) provided such an examination and offered a response which suggested that psychology is good at: 1) applying the scientific method to the analysis of human behaviour, forming testable hypotheses and designing experiments to test them; 2) the assessment and evaluation of intelligence, aptitudes, skills and other assets and the designing of individualized treatment/rehabilitative programs based upon the needs identified by such assessment; 3) identifying dysfunctional parental and family behaviours which help to produce aggression and delinquency in children and offering guides to alternative behaviour patterns; and 4) objectively looking at social behaviour and interaction.

     Megargee (1982) posited four areas in which psychology contributes uniquely to corrections: assessment, treatment, training (of paraprofessionals) and research. He added a caution in relation to what he termed two opposing myths which have been created over the years concerning correctional and criminal justice (forensic) psychology and which have relevance to the topic at hand. These are: 1) that the role of psychologist in the criminal justice system is unique; and 2) that the role of the psychologist in the criminal justice system is no different from any other setting. In a fashion, this juxtaposition of so-called myths responds eloquently to Bazelon's criticism of, or challenge to, the profession. Psychology is acknowledged to be a distinct academic discipline with a unique and growing body of knowledge about human behaviour (even if oftentimes "borrowed" and applied effectively by other academic disciplines and professions as their own). This body of knowledge can be, and is, applied to all aspects of behaviour. The correctional psychologist, if properly trained, brings with him/her this body of knowledge (or relevant aspects thereof including corrections-specific psychometric assessment instruments and techniques, cf., Gendreau, 1975) and makes special application of it to the field of corrections. That crime and criminal behaviour has not been eradicated or perhaps even ameliorated, in terms of gross crime statistics, since the advent of correctional psychology is not, as Bazelon would seem to contend, an indictment of psychology's contribution (or lack thereof) to the correctional process. At best, such an indictment is patently unfair, at worst, it fails to recognize the myriad individual, social, economic, legal, political and other factors at play in the etiology and maintenance of crime and criminal behaviour.

     It is maintained that another contribution of correctional psychology to the correctional process has been to help humanize and reform it (Powitsky, 1978; Tapp, 1976). Brodsky (1977) has described an example of this type of contribution in his report on the intervention of the courts into the Alabama correctional system as a result of successful class action suits brought against it and the major role that the Center for Correctional Psychology, University of Alabama, played in helping to restructure the system. The Center was instrumental in establishing acceptable standards and procedures in relation to inmate classification, the training (i.e., professionalization) of staff, the provision of mental health services and the implementation of inmate training programs. Warren (1973) noted various unique elements that a psychologist as "action researcher" could bring to corrections and the criminal justice field in general. Included in her list were the detailed design and implementation of new programs, the description and evaluation of program processes and impact, and the utilization of these applied and research findings to encourage social and agency change. Thus it would seem that Bazelon's accusation has received adequate response on several fronts.


     The purpose of this paper was to review the history and development of the discipline of correctional psychology. Particular interest was paid to the evolution of psychological practice in the applied correctional context. The emergence of a thematic/generic model of the role of the correctional psychologist was traced and the functions and activities that the role entailed - assessment, counselling/treatment, consultation, training and research - were noted. The historical antecedents were noted of two factors which affect, both directly and indirectly, the delivery and practice of correctional psychology and which, in the eyes of its critics, left (and leave) its purpose and effectiveness open to question.

     The role of the psychologist in corrections has evolved from that of mental tester and classifier to one of involvement in almost all aspects of the correctional process. Certainly it has graduated from the application of basic intelligence-tests to the utilization of the many varied techniques and methodologies developed by the discipline over the intervening years (many of them corrections specific). The discipline first appeared in corrections in the United States at the beginning of the century offering a means of inmate classification through the measurement of individual differences primarily in the area of intelligence testing. Growth and development was slow during the 1930s and 1940s with psychology often functioning as an adjunct or ancillary service to other professional areas. A second major influence on correctional psychology occurred following the second world war and was occasioned by the rapid growth and development of clinical psychology. A transition in the state of the discipline was noted in the 1950s and 1960s which entailed the appearance of articles and journals devoted to the topics of forensic and correctional psychology as well as the growth in the number of practitioners in the field, both developments signalling an increase of interest and activity in the area. The embryonic beginnings of Canadian correctional psychology was reported in the literature in the early-to-mid 1950s in Ontario provincial corrections and the federal penitentiary service.

     Modern correctional psychology was seen to date from the early 1970s. It had no sooner begun to mature as a specialty when it found itself under severe attack by the "nothing works", anti-rehabilitation prison reformers in the United States. The argument was made that these attacks and criticism aided the profession in developing a more realistic approach to its difficult, but intrinsically interesting, task. Finally, the paper examined certain practical aspects of the operation and maintenance of institutional psychology units, and summarized further evidence of the growth of the discipline and the unique contribution it makes to the correctional process.

     This review should provide a useful starting point for further research on specific topics in correctional psychology. For example, a systematic examination of the specialty training needs of the next generation of correctional psychologists should be undertaken. In a different vein, an in-depth examination of the relationship between the nature of the role a psychologist or a psychological services group plays in a particular correctional system/institution and the perception of that role (or of that individual or of that group) by the managers involved and by the psychologists themselves would provide a useful contribution to the discipline and its practice. This issue has not lost its currency although its existence and importance have been raised and recognized in various contexts much earlier in the profession's history and development (e.g., Brodsky, 1973; Corsini, 1959; Faguy, 1973; Watkins, 1982). Finally, although there is evidence of consensus for a generic model of the role and functions of the correctional psychologist, there are outstanding issues that will no doubt be the subject of ongoing debate (and hopefully open to empirical examination) such as the appropriate focus and scope of the discipline. That is, what should it entail and under which circumstances should special aspects of it be emphasized? Should it concentrate solely on the criminogenic needs/risks of offenders and the prediction, prevention and/or correction thereof? Is there a place for clinical/mental health psychology within correctional psychology outside of the specialized institutions such as psychiatric/treatment centres? And so on.

     Further descriptive research on the development of correctional psychology is called for. One important finding of this study, in the Canadian context, was that the published literature was largely confined to the federal and Ontario correctional systems. A further review of unpublished material would be required to document the history and development of the discipline in the other provinces and territories of the country. Similarly, following up on the work of Norton (1970) and Gendreau (1979), it would seem to be timely to conduct another survey of Canadian correctional psychology in order to obtain a current national snapshot of the discipline. A detailed analysis of the programs of the annual convention of the CPA over (say) the past twenty-five years would provide additional evidence of the growth and development of correctional psychology in Canada. At the international level, it would be interesting to compare the history, development and current status of the profession with that of North America. Some relevant literature on the topic was uncovered during the literature search for this paper (e.g., Australia - Wardlaw, 1983; Veno, 1978; Germany - Losel & Bliesener, 1989; New Zealand - Wardlaw & Millier, 1978; the United Kingdom - Black, 1982; Donald, 1970; Field, 1932; Richards, 1977).

     In many ways, the times are propitious for the practice of the discipline in Canada. A statutory framework that provides a clear focus for, and impetus to, rehabilitative programming in corrections (and therefore to the domain of correctional psychology) has recently received government approval (Statutes of Canada, 1992). Specifically stated in the Act, as one of the purposes and principles of the federal correctional system, is the rehabilitation of offenders. Moreover, the Correctional Service of Canada provides an example of a correctional jurisdiction which has established a mission framework. From the mission framework flow explicit values according to which the function and the operation of the correctional organization will be guided, and specific objectives the attainment of which it will strive to achieve (e.g., Correctional Service of Canada, 1990). Relevant objectives, from the perspective of this review, give explicit recognition to the potential for, and to the process of, behaviourial change on the part of the offender/inmate. Thus, not since the Archambault report of 1938 have such aims of the correctional system been explicitly stated and reinforced by government policy.


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