Who Requests Psychological Services Upon Admission to Prison?

Pamela M. Diamond, Philip R. Magaletta, Amy Jo Harzke, John Baxter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Structuring a system of psychological services for offenders and releasees requires an understanding of the offenders who voluntarily seek psychological services upon admission. To begin to develop such an understanding, a sample set of responses to the Psychological Services Inmate Questionnaire (PSIQ) from 2,674 newly committed male and female federal offenders were examined. About one-tenth of the sample made a request for psychological services upon admission to prison without a mandate or referral, and confirm that a combination of prior mental health treatment and current symptoms are among the factors associated with making the request. Logistic regression analysis indicated male gender, receipt of mental health treatment prior to current incarceration, history of a head injury, current symptoms of depression, hopelessness, nervousness, sleeping problems, and racing thoughts, were independent and significant predictors of service request. Implications for future corrections research, clinical training and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-107
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • corrections
  • inmates
  • mental health screening
  • offenders
  • prison
  • service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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