Psychological Tests & Evaluation
in Support of Parole by
Hans H. Selvog
Clinical Social Worker

On December 14, 2004 Mr. Hans H. Selvog, M.S.W., L.C.S.W, a licensed clinical social worker and Clinical Director of the Augustus Institute (National Center on Institutions and Alternatives of Baltimore, Maryland) submitted to this Commission a forensic assessment of Veronza Bowers, Jr. concerning his current suitability as a candidate for parole. The exhaustive evaluation consisted of a mental status exam, psychological testing and risk assessment. It also reviewed Mr. Bowers’ behavioral adjustment record while incarcerated.

In this report, Mr. Selvog writes of Mr. Bowers:
“ In general his responses suggest a well-established need for social approval and commendation, as evidenced by his tendencies to present himself in a favorable light. That being said, his overall profile does not indicate any significant generalized antisocial tendencies, nor does he show an underlying predisposition to break social rules. Further, his level of social maladjustment is in the normal range, indicating he has an awareness of appropriate social expectations and norms. Taken as a whole, his profile indicates he does not have a value system typical of that found in criminal populations. Furthermore, in this regard, he is seen as not having significant authority conflicts; hence it appears he can relate to authority figures. . . . it is noted he is generally experiencing well below average levels of anger; hence this emotion does not appear to be driving his behavior(s). . . . Based on an analysis of the [Psychological Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS)], it is demonstrated Mr. Bowers does not exhibit a criminal-lifestyle thinking pattern. . . . Additionally, based on the data collected form [The Violence Risk Assessment Guide, an actuarially derived instrument designed to identify the probability an individual will violently re-offend in a violent manner within the next seven and ten years] there is little evidence to suggest that he is at risk to recidivate in a violent manner. Moreover, these instruments also suggest the absence of risk factors that would predict general recidivism.”

Mr. Selvog ends his extensive report with the following conclusion:
“ Other than the offense of conviction, Mr. Bowers had no prior criminal record. In my estimation, he openly and honestly discussed his institutional adjustment and incident reports to the fullest of his ability, recounting from memory 31 years of experience. It appears that the overwhelming majority of his confinement is without violation while replete with prosocial accomplishment.

“ Moreover, psychological testing confirmed my clinical impressions of Mr. Bowers as someone who does not suffer from any psychiatric or personality disorders that would prohibit him from maintaining a normal, prosocial way of living and relating. Nor does he harbor a corrupt or criminally oriented style of thinking or perceiving. Actuarial risk assessment provided additional support that Mr. Bowers, should he be granted parole, would in all likelihood continue to engage in a lifestyle that is respectful of himself and others.”


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