2013-01-07 16:06:02.802199-08 by Dan Lyke 0 comments
Rachel Aviv in the New Yorker: The Science of Sex Abuse, on how we incarcerate people for crimes they haven't committed, and then goad them into confessing to crimes they couldn't have committed:
... Another former patient, Sean Francis, testified that, in order to stay in the safe confines of Butner, he fabricated fifty-four victims and invented and embellished rape fantasies. Every single human being, if we were to open their head up, has some form or fashion of a deviant sexual fantasy, he said at his hearing. I dont deny that. But Francis said that he turned himself into a caricature of a sex offender in order to please the psychological gods that they have working at Butner. Patients would sit in groups and offer one another tips for sprucing up their criminal histories. ...
Particularly leaped out at me that the prosecution's forensic psychologist in one of these cases, Amy Phenix, suggested "...that John had roughly a 24.7-per-cent chance of reoffending within five years...". Ho. Ly. She. It. We've got a psychologist claiming 3 digits of probability accuracy on future behavior? Why isn't this woman working in advertising? We've pretty much established that sociological predictions are hoohey, but here we have someone claiming predictive behaviors on an individual to a tenth of a percent over five years?
Man, if you ever needed some strong confirmation that the modern mental health industry is full of crap, that's a pretty strong exhibit.
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