The Prison Inmate
Inventory (PII) is specifically designed for prison (penitentiary or
reformatory) inmate (male and female) assessment. Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) reports help
determine risk, establish supervision levels, validate readiness for status or
classification changes and substantiate inmate need.
Prison inmates manifest a multitude of serious attitudinal, mental health and behavioral problems.
The incidence of adjustment difficulties, violence, antisocial attitudes, substance (alcohol
and other drugs) abuse and stress-related disorders among inmates exceeds the
norm for all age groups. From a rehabilitation and treatment perspective,
effective remediation is often contingent upon early problem identification.
The Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) is designed for inmate assessment. In
addition to alcohol and drugs, it also screens other
important attitudes and behaviors. It is easy to administer. On-site
scoring and generation of easy to read reports is timely. And, the
Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) has impressive reliability, validity and accuracy. The
Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) has been standardized on thousands of inmates.
** Prison Inmate Inventory **
Potentially 1,300 adult correctional institutions in the United
States, which are operated as part of statewide systems.
Prison (penitentiary or reformatory) inmate (male and female)
Helps determine inmate risk, establish supervision levels and
readiness for status or classification changes.
Authenticates and confirms inmate needs.
The PII is designed for prison inmate (male and female) assessment. The PII is
an automated (computer-scored) assessment instrument or test. This document describes the PII
and explains how it works. It also discusses unique PII features, explains PII scale interpretation
and presents an example PII report.
The PII is designed for prison inmate (male and female) assessment. The PII has
161 items and takes approximately 35 to 40 minutes to complete. PII
reports are scored and printed on-site. The PII has 10 measures
(scales): 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Violence (Lethality) Scale, 3.
Antisocial Scale, 4. Adjustment Scale, 5. Self-Esteem Scale, 6. Judgment
Scale, 7. Distress Scale, 8. Alcohol Scale, 9. Drugs Scale and 10.
Stress Coping Abilities Scale. The PII has been standardized on
thousands of inmates. It is a popular prison inmate screening instrument or test.
Ten Prison Inmate Inventory Scales
The PII contains 10 separate measures (scales) that are standardized and normed
on the prison inmate (male and female) population. These include:
Measures how truthful the inmate was while completing the test. It identifies guarded and
defensive inmates who attempt to minimize problems or fake their answers. It identifies faking
(Lethality) Scale: Measures the use of force to injure, damage or
destroy. It identifies inmates that are dangerous to themselves and others.
Antisocial Scale: Measures antisocial
attitudes and behavior. It identifies inmates that are opposed to society and social norms.
Measures the inmate's ability to cope with incarceration. It evaluates the inmate's
emotional and social adjustment.
Describes the person
one believes oneself to be. This scale measures inmate worthiness or feelings of self-worth.
Judgment Scale: Measures an inmate's
ability to draw conclusions from events and the actions of people around them. Inmate risk
increases as judgment decreases.
Distress Scale: Measures inmate discomfort,
unhappiness and pain. Distress incorporates anxiety, depression and concern.
Alcohol Scale: Measures alcohol
proneness and severity of alcohol-related problems. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other liquor.
Scale: Measures drug abuse proneness and the severity of
drug-related problems. Drugs include marijuana, crack, cocaine,
amphetamines, barbiturates and heroin.
Coping Abilities Scale: Measures an inmate's ability to handle
stress. Stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptoms. This is
a non-introversive way to screen diagnosable mental health problems.
The PII assesses attitudes and behaviors yielding an inmate profile. Paper-pencil test
administration takes on average 35 to 40 minutes, and tests are computer scored on-site
with reports printed within 3 minutes.
The PII was developed for inmate evaluation. It is much more than just another alcohol or
drug test; consequently, it measures important behaviors missed by other tests.
Prison Inmate Inventory Test Booklets
PII test booklets are provided
free. These booklets contain 161 items (true/false and multiple choice)
and are written at a high 5th to low 6th grade
level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the PII. It
takes 35 to 40 minutes to complete this test. PII test booklets are
available in both English and Spanish.
Prison Inmate Inventory Reports
In brief, PII reports summarize
the inmate's self-reported history, explain what attained scores mean
and offer specific score-related recommendations. An example Prison
Inmate Inventory (PII) report can be viewed by clicking on the
PII Example Report link.
Within 3 minutes of test data
entry, automated (computer-generated) 4-page reports are printed on-site.
These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily understood
format. For example, these reports include a PII profile (graph), which
summarizes inmate findings at a glance. Also included are attained scale
scores, an explanation of what each score means and specific
Significant items (direct
admissions) are highlighted, and answers to the built-in interview (the
last section of multiple choice items) are presented. Emphasis is
placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful and easily understood.
To go directly to the example PII
report, click on the
PII Report link. After
reviewing the report, you can return to this section by closing the report's window or tab.
The PII is available on Windows diskettes and flashdrives. Windows
diskettes require a one-time computer setup procedure after which PII
data diskettes are used. Training manuals are provided, and new test
users can be walked through these procedures over Behavior Data Systems,
Ltd.'s (BDS) telephone line.
Proprietary PII diskettes contain
25 or 50 test applications. These 3½" diskettes score, interpret
and print PII reports on-site. Once a PII account is established,
ordered diskettes are mailed to users. When all test applications are
used, diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems where the test
data and demographics are downloaded into the PII database for
subsequent research analysis. The proprietary "delete names" program is
activated by the test user with a few keystrokes to delete all inmates'
names from diskettes before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Deleting all
inmates' names insures inmate confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA
(federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
"Delete names program
The "PII: Orientation and Training
Manual" explains how the PII works and should be read by staff. The "PII:
Computer Operating Guide" explains how to score tests, print or store
reports and discusses other unique PII computer-related features.
Prison Inmate Inventory Database
The PII system contains a proprietary database. Earlier, it was noted that all PII used diskettes
are returned to Behavior Data Systems, and the test data along with related
demographics are downloaded into the PII database. This database (over
85,000 PII tests) allows ongoing research and testing program summary --
capabilities that were not possible before. Ongoing research insures
quality control. Test program summaries provide program self-evaluation.
Permits ongoing research and annual program summary -- at no additional
cost. As discussed earlier, when the 25 or 50 tests on a diskette are
used, that diskette is returned to Behavior Data Systems, checked for any viruses and
downloaded into the expanding PII database. This proprietary database
includes over 85,000 inmates' test data. Advantages of a built-in
database are many and include database (research) analysis and annual
summary reports. Click on the
Annual Summary Report link to review an example summary report.
No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc. are ever downloaded into any
Returned diskettes can be
summarized on a state, correctional institution or agency basis -- at no
additional cost to users. Annual summary reports provide information for
testing program self-evaluation.
In summary, having all used PII
test data centrally filed at Behavior Data Systems' offices in the PII database
has many advantages. Database analysis permits ongoing cost efficient
research that includes scale alpha coefficients, frequency
distributions, correlations, ANOVA, cross-tab statistics along with
reliability, validity and accuracy determinations. We continue to study
the effects of demographics and are undertaking recidivism prediction
studies. A Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) research study can be reviewed
by clicking on the
PII Research Study link.
After downloading test data returned diskettes are destroyed.
Annual Summary Reports
Behavior Data Systems can access each of its
tests' built-in databases for statistical analysis and summarization of all
tests administered in a year. Annual Summary Reports are prepared
for state, department, agency and even some individual providers -- at no
cost to them. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy
to large volume test users. Summary reports include demographics,
court-history when relevant, and test statistics (reliability, validity
and accuracy). Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program?
Annually? At no additional cost to you? Minimum testing volume for
annual reports is 350 tests. There is no maximum limit. Behavior Data
Systems' annual reports range in size from 350 tests to over 55,000 tests annually.
An example Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this
Annual Summary Report link.
Reliability, Validity and Accuracy
The PII has a built-in database
that insures inclusion of all tests administered in a confidential (no
names) manner. Over 85,000 inmates' test data are represented in the PII
database. And, these reliability, validity and accuracy statistics are
reported in the document titled "PII: An Inventory of Scientific
Findings." Annual database analysis has revealed that PII scales
maintain very high reliability coefficients and minimum interscale correlations.
For example, the internal consistencies (coefficient alphas) for PII scales are reported here
for 20,780 inmates screened in the year 2000. This is only one among several year 2000 samples.
A PII research study is presented at the end of this webpage. To go directly to this research,
click on the
PII Research Study link.
RELIABILITY OF THE PII (N=20,780, 2000)
Stress Coping Abilities
All PII scales have alpha
coefficients well above the professionally accepted standard of .75 and
are highly reliable. All coefficient alphas are significant at the
p<.001 level. To review another research study, click on the
PII Research Study link.
PII research extends over 15
years. Many studies have been conducted on thousands (not just hundreds)
of inmates using several validation methods. Early studies used
criterion measures and were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L-Scale, MMPI F-Scale,
SAQ-Adult Probation, 16-PF, MMPI Psychopathic Deviate Scale, Mac-Andrews,
MAST, MMPI Anxiety Scale, MAS (Taylor Manifest Anxiety)
Scale, TSC-VII Scale, etc. Much of this research is summarized in the
document titled "PII: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." Subsequently, many
discriminant validity (first versus multiple offenders) and predictive validity
(treatment versus non-treatment) database analysis studies support PII
reliability and validity.
"Standardized on Thousands
PII norms are based on inmates
which now exceed 85,000 individuals. These norms are updated annually
for each PII scale. Separate norms are available for gender (males and
females), ethnicity (Caucasian, Black and Hispanic) and geographic
(state-by-state) regions. This database research is ongoing.
Advantages of Screening
Screening or assessment instruments filter out individuals with serious problems that may
require referral for a more comprehensive evaluation and/or treatment.
This filtering system works as follows:
PII RISK RANGES
Risk Range Percentile
0 - 39%
40 - 69%
70 - 89%
90 - 100%
Reference to the above risk range
table shows that a problem is not identified until a scale score is at
the 70th percentile or higher. These risk range percentiles
are based upon the thousands of inmates that have taken the PII. This procedure is eminently
fair, and it avoids extremes, i.e., over-identification and under-identification of problems.
A state, department or corrections
system policy might refer inmates with serious problems (Severe Problem,
11%) for additional services. In this example, 89% of the inmates screened would not be
referred for additional (and expensive) services.
Budgetary savings (dollars) would
be large with no compromises in inmates receiving appropriate evaluation
and/or treatment services. Indeed, more inmates would receive help.
Without a screening program, there is usually more risk of over or under-utilization of additional
The PII scales identify the areas they screen. And, these scales (measures) are:
1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Violence (Lethality) Scale, 3. Antisocial
Scale, 4. Adjustment Scale, 5. Self-Esteem Scale, 6. Judgment Scale, 7.
Distress Scale, 8. Alcohol Scale, 9. Drugs Scale and 10. Stress Coping
"Few tests are
designed specifically for prison inmate evaluation which makes the
Prison Inmate Inventory rather special... After carefully reviewing
the PII's normative research I am impressed. This test exceeds
professional reliability and validity standards... The PII has been
standardized on thousands of male and female inmates. I recommend this
test without reservation."
Experimental Psychologist, Arizona
"We are very pleased with the Prison Inmate Inventory as one of our standardized
assessment instruments. It has clearly helped us strengthen our offender
assessment process. It has contributed to better special reports for the
Parole Board and more appropriate screening and referral for treatment
services in the institutions...
We have found the PII to be more than an alcohol and drug abuse assessment instrument. Our
staff find very useful the areas assessed by the PII particularly the
violence, antisocial and stress coping scales. The validity scale has
also been a feature of the PII valued by staff.
Another benefit we value in the PII is the opportunity to better understand our offender
population through the development of a comprehensive database. The PII
database allows us to understand and examine our offender population in
the areas it assesses.
This letter is intended to reflect Missouri's positive experience with the Prison
Inmate Inventory... We have recommended this assessment instrument to other agencies."
Missouri Department of Corrections
Division of Offender Rehabilitation Services
* * * * *
Fairness goes beyond reliability and
validity. The term applies to test accuracy for demographic groups like gender and ethnicity
(race). The PII has been normed on these demographic groups in states where correctional
institutions use the PII. This research is ongoing in nature. PII scale scoring equations are
adjusted, as warranted, on an annual basis to insure fairness.
Staff Member Input: Some people
advocate fully automated assessment. Behavior Data Systems does not. The PII is
to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment. When
available, court and corrections records should be reviewed because they
can contain important information not provided or incorrectly provided
by the inmate. Experienced staff should also interview the inmate. For
these reasons, the following statement is contained on each PII report:
"Prison Inmate Inventory or PII results are confidential and
should be considered working hypotheses. No diagnosis or decision should be based
solely upon PII results. The PII is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff
judgment and review of available records."
Unique PII Features
Truthfulness Scale: Identifies
denial, problem minimization and faking. It is now clear that many
inmates attempt to minimize their problems. A Truthfulness Scale is now
a necessary component in contemporary inmate tests. The PII Truthfulness
Scale has been validated with the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory (MMPI), polygraph exams, other tests, truthfulness studies and
experienced staff judgment. The PII Truthfulness Scale has been
demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate. In some respects, the PII Truthfulness Scale is similar to the MMPI's L and F-Scales. It
consists of a number of items that most people agree or disagree with.
"Truthfulness Scale and Truth-Corrected Scores"
to be very important for assessment accuracy. This proprietary
truth correction program is comparable to the MMPI K-Scale correction.
The PII Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other 9 scales.
The Truth Correction equation then converts raw scores to
Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than
raw scores. Raw scores reflect what the inmate wants you to know.
Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the inmate is trying to hide.
Stress Coping Abilities Scale:
Measures how well the inmate handles stress, tension and pressure. How
well a person handles stress can effect their adjustment and mental
health. We now know that stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptomatology. This
scale is a non-introversive way to screen established
(diagnosable) mental health problems. An inmate scoring at or above the
90th percentile on the Stress Coping Abilities Scale might be referred for a more
comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis and treatment plan. This important area of inquiry
is missed by other inmate screening tests.
More than just another alcohol or
drug test. In addition to alcohol and drugs, the PII assesses other
important areas of inquiry like truthfulness, denial and faking,
violence (lethality) proneness, antisocial attitudes, self-esteem,
feelings of distress and judgment. The Stress Coping Abilities Scale was
discussed earlier. The PII is specifically designed for inmate (male and
female) assessment. It provides the information needed for understanding
inmate attitudes and behavior.
"Alternative for reading
Three ways to give the PII. The PII
can be administered in three different ways:
1. Paper-pencil test booklet
format is the most popular testing procedure. PII English and Spanish
test booklets and answer sheets are available at no added cost.
tests can be given directly on the computer screen. Some correctional
institutions dedicate computers for PII testing. And,
Human voice audio in English and Spanish
is available. This involves a computer, a headset and the inmate uses
the up-down arrow keys. As the inmate goes from question to answer with
the arrow keys, the question or answer is highlighted on the monitor
(screen) and simultaneously read to the inmate. The three administration
modes are discussed in the "PII: Orientation and Training Manual." Each
test administration mode has advantages and some limitations. Behavior
Data Systems offers these three testing modes so test users can select the
administration mode that is optimally suited to their needs.
Reading Impaired Assessment:Reading impaired inmates represent 20+ percent of inmates tested. This
represents a serious problem to many other inmate tests. In contrast,
Behavior Data Systems has developed an alternative for dealing with this problem:
Human Voice Audio.
Human Voice Audio:
the PII in English and Spanish helps resolve many reading and cultural
difference issues. Inmates' passive vocabularies are often greater than
their active vocabularies. Hearing items read out loud often helps
reduce both cultural and communication problems. This PII administration
mode requires a computer, earphones and simple instructions regarding
how to operate the up-down arrow keys on the computer keyboard.
Behavior Data Systems
encourages test users to delete inmate names from diskettes before they
are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Once inmate names are deleted, they are
gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting inmate names does not delete
demographics or test data, which is downloaded into the PII database for
subsequent analysis. This proprietary name deletion procedure involves a
few keystrokes and insures inmate confidentiality and compliance with
HIPAA (federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
Test Data Input Verification: Allows the person that inputs the test data from
the answer sheet into the computer to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test
data is input twice, and any inconsistencies between the first and second
data entries are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second
data entries match or are the same, the staff person can continue. This
proprietary Test Data Input Verification procedure is optional, yet it
is strongly recommended by Behavior Data Systems.
Inventory of Scientific Findings:
Much of the PII research has been gathered together in one document
titled "PII: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This document
summarizes PII research chronologically -- as the studies were
completed. This innovative chronological reporting format was
established largely because of the PII database, which permits annual
database analysis of all tests administered. It also allows the reader
to observe the evolution of the PII into its current state-of-the-art status.
Optical Scanner Scoring:
Inmates' PII answer sheets can be "scanned" or automatically scored.
This is useful in high volume assessment centers and testing milieus.
This option requires scanner hardware. To insure accurate scanner
scoring, Behavior Data Systems likes to coordinate with staff that will be using the
scanner to score PII answer sheets. Behavior Data Systems' telephone number is
(602) 234-3506, our fax number is
(602) 266-8227 and our e-mail address is
email@example.com. Answer sheet scanning is discussed in depth in the
PII: Computer Operating Guide.
Staff Training: Behavior
Data Systems' staff are available to participate in PII training
programs conducted by correctional institutions in the United States.
Behavior Data Systems' staff typically participates in 4-hour or 6-hour PII
training sessions. This training can include hands-on computer scoring,
as desired. Behavior Data Systems gives attendees certificates attesting to their PII training.
Staff training is also provided on Fridays at Behavior Data Systems' Phoenix offices from 8:30 a.m.
to 11:30 a.m. or from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate,
contact Behavior Data Systems at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first
Why Select the PII?
The PII meets and exceeds most
inmate screening criteria. It is endorsed by users and is widely used in
the United States. There are over 85,000 inmates' PII test data in the
PII database. The PII has repeatedly been demonstrated to be reliable,
valid and accurate. Ongoing research continues to study and adjust for
demographics like age, gender and ethnicity (race).
The PII's ten scales measure truthfulness, quantify the severity of alcohol and drug abuse,
assess violence (lethality) propensity, antisocial attitudes and distress, as
well as overall adjustment and self-esteem along with stress coping
abilities. Screening stress coping abilities allows non-introversive
identification of the presence of established (diagnosable) emotional
and mental health problems.
The PII's built-in database facilitates cost efficient database analysis and annual testing
program summary. These two unique features -- ongoing database analysis and
annual summary reports -- are provided free.
Inmates' PII reports are timely (available on-site in 3½ minutes), readable and easy to
understand. Score-related recommendations are relevant. It's reasonable to conclude
the PII is the state-of-the-art in contemporary inmate assessment and
screening. And, Behavior Data Systems doesn't stop there! The PII is very affordable.
"Free PII Examination Kit"
Test Unit Fee (Cost):
PII cost information can be reviewed by clicking on the
Test Unit Fee
(Cost) link. There is only the one cost or charge, and that is the test unit
fee. Everything else is included at no additional cost to the test user. This
includes test booklets, answer sheets, training manuals, upgrades, ongoing
database research, annual summary testing reports, staff training and support
services. Do not be misled by some test publishers' à la carte pricing like
separate costs for each test administration as well as for each of the
test-related items listed above. Instead of asking for the test administration
cost, ask for the total cost involved in using a test. We believe Behavior Data
Systems' one test
unit fee is very affordable.
Free Examination Kit
A 1-test demonstration diskette is available on a 30-day cost free basis. Demo diskettes are in
Windows format. The Examination Kit includes a 1-test demo diskette, installation CD (with instructions),
test booklet, answer sheet and some descriptive materials. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the
test booklet and diskette returned within 30 days.
Selecting an Inmate Screening Test
If you are selecting an inmate
(male and female) assessment instrument, the following Comparison
Checklist should prove helpful. This checklist summarizes important
assessment and screening qualities. The "Other" column represents any
other test you might want to compare to the PII.
TEST COMPARISON CHECKLIST
Designed Specifically for Inmate Assessment
Standardized on Thousands of Prison Inmates
Test Reliability and Validity Research Provided
Test Completed in 40 Minutes
On-Site Reports within 3 Minutes
Truthfulness Scale Detects Faking
Truth-Corrected Scores Improve Accuracy
Four Test Administration Options
1. Paper-Pencil (English and Spanish)
2. On Computer Screen (English and Spanish)
3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish)
Delete Inmate Names (Confidentiality)
HIPAA (federal regulation) Compliant
Comprehensive Assessment (10 scales or measures)
Violence (Lethality) Scale
Alcohol and Drugs Scales
Stress Coping Abilities Scale
Large (85,000+) Research Database
Helpful Score-Related Reports
Easily Understood Reports
ASAM Compatible Recommendations
Staff Training (Free)
Examination Kit (Free)
Thirty-Day Money Back Guarantee
Very Affordable Test Unit Fee
"Multidimensional PII profiles"
PII Scale Interpretation
An example 4-page PII report follows this discussion of PII interpretation. It
is provided as a ready reference to augment this dialogue. There are
several levels of PII interpretation ranging from viewing the PII as a
self-report to interpreting scale elevations and scale interrelationships.
The following table is a starting point for interpreting PII scale scores.
PII RISK RANGES
Risk Range Percentile
0 - 39%
40 - 69%
70 - 89%
90 - 100%
A problem is not identified until a scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher.
Elevated scale scores refer to percentile scores that are
at or above the 70th percentile.
Problems are identified by scale scores at or above
the 90th percentile. Severe problems represent the highest 11
percent of inmates evaluated with the PII. The PII has been normed on
over 85,000 inmates. And, this normative sample continues to expand with
each PII test that is administered.
Truthfulness Scale: Measures
how truthful the inmate was while completing the test. It identifies
guarded and defensive inmates who attempt to fake good. Scores at or
below the 89th percentile mean that all PII scales are
accurate. Scale scores in the 70th to 89th percentile range are
accurate because they have been Truth-Corrected. Scores at or above the
90th percentile mean that all PII
scales are inaccurate (invalid) because the inmate was overly guarded,
read things into test items that aren't there, was minimizing problems,
or was caught faking answers. Inmates with reading impairments might
also score in this 90th to 100th percentile scoring range. If not
consciously deceptive, inmates with elevated Truthfulness Scale scores
are uncooperative, fail to understand test items or have a need to
appear in a good light. The Truthfulness Scale score is important
because it shows whether or not the inmate answered PII test items
honestly. Truthfulness Scale scores at or below the 89th
percentile indicate that all other PII scale scores are accurate. One of
the first things to check when reviewing a PII report is the Truthfulness Scale score.
Violence (Lethality) Scale:
Identifies inmates that are dangerous to themselves and others. Violence is
defined as the expression of rage and hostility through physical force.
It is aggression in its most extreme and unacceptable form.
Inmates having elevated scores can be demanding, sensitive to perceived criticism and
are insightless about how they express their anger/hostility. Severe
Problem scorers should not be ignored, as they are threatening and very
dangerous. A particularly unstable and perilous situation involves an
elevated Violence Scale with an elevated Antisocial, Alcohol, Drugs or
Judgment Scale score. Substance abuse, antisocial attitudes and poor
judgment can contribute to dangerousness. The more of these scales that
are elevated with the Violence Scale, the worse the prognosis. An
elevated Adjustment Scale or Stress Coping Abilities Scale provides
insight regarding co-determinants and possible treatment recommendations.
A Severe Problem Violence Scale score in conjunction with an elevated
Distress Scale and/or Self-Esteem Scale suggests suicidal ideation
should be explored. The Violence Scale score can be interpreted
independently or in combination with other PII scales.
antisocial attitudes and behavior. Antisocial is defined as opposed to
society or existing social organization and moral codes. Antisocial
behavior refers to aggressive, impulsive and sometimes violent actions
that flout social and ethical codes, such as laws, property rights, etc.
This behavior pattern often begins with a conduct disorder involving
lying, stealing, fighting, cruelty, truancy, vandalism, theft and
substance abuse. Elevated Antisocial Scale scores are often associated
with non-internalization of recognized conventions. Many high scorers
manifest a seemingly inability to profit from experience. An elevated
Antisocial Scale score in conjunction with an elevated Alcohol Scale,
Drugs Scale or Violence Scale score would be a malignant sign prognostically. A
Severe Problem Stress Coping Ability Scale score with
an elevated Severe Problem Antisocial Scale suggests the possibility of
a suspicious/paranoid mental health problem. Continuing, a Severe
Problem Self-Esteem Scale score and/or Distress Scale score accompanying
a Severe Problem Antisocial Scale score could be a suicidal ideation or
explosiveness warning. The elevations of the Self-Esteem and Antisocial
Scales would help determine if the inmate's hostility is internalized
(self-esteem) or externalized (antisocial). An accompanying elevated
Judgment Scale score would be another malignant prognostic sign. The
Antisocial Scale can be interpreted independently or in combination with other PII scales.
Adjustment Scale: Measures the
inmate's ability to adjust to incarceration, which can be a very
stressful experience. Inmate adjustment requires modification of the
inmate's attitudes and behavior. Stressors vary widely from a controlled
environment (along with frustration, humiliation and monotony) to a
myriad of emotion provoking events. When the Adjustment Scale is
elevated, review other PII scales. For example, is the inmate also
dangerous (Violence Scale), antisocial (Antisocial Scale), suffering
from a substance abuse (Alcohol and Drugs Scales) problem, or manifesting
poor feelings of self-worth (Self-Esteem Scale)? An elevated Adjustment
Scale suggests one level of intervention; whereas, an Adjustment Scale score in the
Severe Problem range suggests other
intervention options. An elevated Adjustment Scale score with an
elevated Distress Scale score is suggestive of environmental conflict.
Similarly, elevated Alcohol and/or Drugs Scale scores could identify
focal issues impacting upon the inmate's adjustment. The Adjustment
Scale can be interpreted independently or in combination with other PII scales.
Self-Esteem: Measures an
inmate's feelings of self-worth. This scale is a reflection of the
inmate's self-acceptance, self-approval, and self-respect. The concept
of self evolves from self-evaluation of one's ability, personal worth,
attainment of goals and achieving one's potential. The circumstances
preceding their incarceration and present environmental milieu results
in many inmates having impaired self-esteem. This is another example of
the importance of standardizing the PII on inmates. Self-Esteem Scale
scores are based on thousands of inmates' scores. An elevated (70th to 89th
percentile) Self-Esteem Scale score indicates impaired self-esteem;
whereas, scores in the Severe Problem (90th to 100th
percentile) range reflect established feelings of worthlessness and
loss of self-respect. An elevated Self-Esteem Scale score with
Adjustment and/or Distress Scale score even higher is suggestive of
severe environmental conflict or suicidal ideation. In contrast,
concurrently elevated Judgment, Antisocial or Violence Scale scores are
often associated with acting out. When these scales are higher than the
Self-Esteem Scale (e.g., in the Severe Problem range), they suggest a
very dangerous inmate. The ubiquitous nature of self-esteem in the
clinical literature emphasizes its importance in inmate
intervention/treatment programming. And, as discussed earlier, the
Self-Esteem Scale can be interpreted independently or in combination with other scales.
Judgment Scale: Measures an
inmate's ability to formulate opinions or draw conclusions from the
actions of people and events around them. Distortions in judgment are
often maladaptive and based on faulty motives due to peer pressure,
concrete thinking, psychopathology or infantile wishes. Judgment Scale
scores indicate the types of decisions inmates make in their lives. The
relationship between "judgment" and "intelligence" is an empirical
question that needs further study. However, we know that very high
(Severe Problem) Judgment Scale scores may result from an inmate not
understanding test items, which is usually detected by the Truthfulness
Scale score. It also appears that Judgment Scale scores are often
interactive with other PII scale scores. In general, as judgment
decreases, inmate risk increases. The Judgment Scale can also be
interpreted independently of other scales.
Distress Scale: Measures inmate
discomfort, unhappiness and pain. Distressed inmates are very concerned,
bothered and upset. Distress is one of the most common reasons people
initiate counseling or psychotherapy. And, it often serves as the
beginning point in clinical inquiry. The magnitude of the Distress Scale
is important. Elevated scores indicate something is wrong. Distress
Scale scores in the Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile)
range indicate the inmate is hurting, overwhelmed and desperate. A
Severe Problem Distress Scale score in conjunction with a Severe Problem
Self-Esteem Scale and/or Stress Coping Abilities Scale suggests very
serious emotional problems and is usually a malignant sign. The Distress
Scale can also be interpreted independently of other PII scales.
Alcohol Scale: Measures alcohol
use and the severity of abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other
liquor. It is a licit substance. An elevated (70th to 89th
percentile) Alcohol Scale score is indicative of an emerging drinking
problem. An Alcohol Scale score in the Severe Problem (90th to 100th
percentile) range identifies serious drinking problems.
Since a history of alcohol
problems could result in an abstainer (current non-drinker) attaining a
Low to Medium Risk score, precautions have been built into the PII to
correctly identify "recovering alcoholics." Several PII items are
printed in the "Significant Items" and again in the " Multiple
Choice " (page 4) sections of the PII report for quick reference.
These "recovering alcohol" items include the following: inmate substance
abuse history (item 137), drinking self-description (item 140), inmate's
desire for alcohol treatment (item 141), inmate's self-admission to a
drinking problem (item 142), and the inmate's answer to the "recovering
alcoholic" question (item 143). In addition, the risk range paragraphs
(printed for elevated Alcohol Scale scores) clearly state that the
inmate may be a "recovering alcoholic."
In intervention and/or treatment
settings, the inmate's Alcohol Scale score helps staff work through
inmate denial. Most inmates accept the objective and standardized
Alcohol Scale score as accurate and relevant. This is particularly true
when it is explained that elevated scores don't occur by chance. The
inmate must answer a definite pattern of alcohol-related admissions for
an elevated score to occur. And, Alcohol Scale scores are based on
thousands of inmates who have completed the PII.
An elevated Alcohol Scale score in
conjunction with other elevated scores magnifies the severity of the
other elevated scores when the inmate drinks. For example, if you have
an inmate with an elevated Violence Scale who also has an elevated
Alcohol Scale score, that inmate is even more dangerous when drinking.
When both Alcohol and Drugs Scales
are elevated, the higher score represents the inmate's substance of
choice. When both are in the Severe Problem range, explore polysubstance
abuse. The Alcohol Scale can also be interpreted independently.
Drugs Scale: Measures drug use and the
severity of abuse. Drugs refer to marijuana, cocaine, crack, ice,
amphetamines, barbiturates and heroin. These are illicit substances.
An elevated (70th to 89th percentile) Drugs Scale score is
indicative of an emerging drug problem. A Drugs Scale score in the
Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile) range identifies
serious illicit drug abusers.
Similar to the Alcohol Scale,
a history of drug-related problems could result in an abstainer
(drug history, but not presently using or abusing drugs) attaining a
Low to Medium Risk score. Precautions have been built into the PII
to correctly identify "recovering drug abusers." Several PII items
are printed in the "Significant Items" and again in the "Multiple
Choice" (page 4) sections of PII reports for easy reference.
These "recovering drug abuser" items include the following: inmate
substance abuse history (item 137), drug use self-description (item
140), admission to a current drug problem (item 142), inmate's
answer to the "recovering drug abuser" question (item 143), and
self-description of the inmate's drug use (item 144). In addition,
the elevated Drugs Scale score paragraphs (in the PII report)
clearly state that the inmate may be a "recovering" drug abuser.
In intervention and treatment
settings, the inmate's Drugs Scale score helps staff work through
inmate denial in a similar way as explained earlier for the Alcohol
Scale. And, an elevated Drugs Scale score in conjunction with other
elevated scale scores magnifies the severity of the other elevated
scores when the inmate uses drugs. For example, an elevated Violence
Scale in conjunction with an elevated Drugs Scale score increases
the severity and risk associated with the Violence Scale when the inmate uses drugs.
When both the Drugs and Alcohol Scales are elevated, the higher score represents the
inmate's substance of choice. When both are in the Severe Problem
range, explore polysubstance abuse. The Drugs Scale can also be interpreted independently.
Stress Coping Abilities Scale:
well the inmate copes with stress. It is now accepted that stress
exacerbates symptoms of mental and emotional problems. Thus, an
elevated Stress Coping Abilities Scale score in conjunction with
other elevated PII scales helps explain the inmate's situation. When
an inmate doesn't handle stress well, other existing problems are
often exacerbated. Such problem augmentation applies to substance
abuse, behavioral acting-out and attitudinal problems.
An elevated Stress Coping
Abilities Scale score can also exacerbate emotional and mental health
symptomatology. When a Stress Coping Abilities Scale score is in the
Severe Problem (90th to 100th percentile) range, it is very
likely that the inmate has a diagnosable mental health problem. In these
instances, referral to a certified/licensed mental health professional is
warranted for a diagnosis and treatment plan. Lower elevated scores
suggest possible referral alternatives like stress management
counseling. The Stress Coping Abilities Scale score can be interpreted
independently or in combination with other PII scales.
* * * * *
In conclusion, it was noted that
there are several "levels" of PII interpretation ranging from viewing
the PII as a self-report to interpreting scale elevations and
interrelationships. Staff can then put PII test report findings within
the context of the inmate's life and corrections situation.
Additional PII information can be provided upon request. Behavior
Data Systems' telephone number
is (602) 234-3506, our fax number is
(602) 266-8227 and our e-mail address