Ethics and captive populations

Ethics and captive populations

That’s the title of my “Ethics Corner” column in California Psychologist, discussing some of the quagmires as well as opportunities for ethical practice behind bars. I’ve also uploaded a companion resource page here on my website. Here’s the way the column starts:

A recent photo in the Los Angeles Times pictured a psychologist administering therapy to a group of men locked in cages the size of phone booths. An expert advised that the cages should be called “therapeutic modules,” lest the prisoners “feel like animals and respond accordingly” (Dolan, 2010). The arrangement is the prison’s response to a judicial mandate to provide treatment to mentally ill prisoners. But as the photo illustrates, much prison therapy is far removed from traditional treatments that psychologists are trained to provide.

Karen Franklin, PhD