Yesterday was my third and final visit with the psychotherapist. At the end of our session, he said he had collected enough information for his evaluation and would have a report delivered to my lawyer within a day or two.
First, we discussed reactions to our last session where he introduced me to Tom, the federal employee who served four years in prison for possession of child pornography. The meeting was intended as a way for me to learn what prison is like. The stories were grisly, and the therapist suggested I take some of what Tom had said about prison life with a grain of salt. Specifically, the stories about prison rape.
“So how common is rape in prison?” I asked. “Should I be worried?” He couldn’t give me a definitive answer.
Part of the problem is terminology. Sex, hustling, and bribery are common in prison and make it hard to define what is consensual. For example, if one man exchanges sex with another man for protection, is it considered rape? What happens if the man is then sold to another inmate for sex? Is it still consensual?
Another problem is that victims may not report rape for fear of retaliation or humiliation which makes statistics useless.
My therapist’s opinion, based on his experience with clients who have been to prison, is that rape is less common than is perceived by people and the media. To set my fears at ease, he let me stick around after our session to talk with his next appointment.
Jason was just released from prison after serving 40 years for capital murder. He seemed nice enough. You would never have guessed he spent time behind bars, let alone murdered somebody.
His retelling of prison was much less scarier than Tom’s. His advice was to be upfront with people and let them know that you’re not looking for trouble and won’t tolerate trouble. He said it’s worth a broken nose in the beginning to prove you’re not a “prison punk” who allows himself to be bullied. He said if someone is harassing you, yell “Fight!” to attract the attention of the guards, and then attack you’re assailant with everything you’ve got. Once the other inmates realize you’re more trouble than you’re worth, they’ll leave you alone.
The rest of the session was spent taking tests that supposedly measure my mental health and sexual interests.
One test contained 175 statements which I answered true or false:
“I have difficulty forgetting painful memories from my childhood.”
“There are so many things that interest me, I have a hard time choosing what to do.”
“I’m convinced that other people are trying to control my thoughts.”
I answered “false” to all three.
Another test had me laughing on the couch. I was given several scenarios and asked to rate each on a scale from –3 to +3: –3 meaning I find the scenario sexually repulsive, +3 meaning I find the scenario sexually stimulating, and 0 for neutral.
“A beautiful woman is slashing your back with razor blades.”
“A naked woman is tied to a bed and you’re burning her tits with a cigarette. She’s screaming for you to stop.”
“Your 11-year-old son is holding your erect dick with both hands and staring at it expressionless.”
For the last statement, I marked a –1. I didn’t find it as repulsive as burning the woman’s breasts with a cigarette, but I admit it sounded a little better.
I have no idea what his report will say about me, and the therapist offered no hint. I don’t know if it even matters or whether the judge will dismiss it entirely. The goal of the evaluation is to prove to the judge that I’m not a sexual menace to children and should therefore be awarded some amount of leniency.
I just hope the evaluation says as much.