Cunning psychopaths manipulate their way out of jail

By | January 28, 2009

DESPITE the serious nature of their offences, psychopathic criminals get let out of prison sooner than others – in Canada, at least.

Psychopaths tend to be unusually adept at manipulating others, and even the legal system, to their advantage. “In prison, they push administrators to gain better food, resources, or to work outside on road crews,” says Kent Kiehl of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

To find out how effective psychopaths are at duping parole boards, Steve Porter of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, studied records of 310 male inmates from a Canadian prison. He found that those termed psychopaths, based on a standard psychological test, were up to 2.5 times as likely as other prisoners to get out of jail early. They were also “much more likely to then violate their parole than non-psychopaths”, he says.

Bob Hare of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, who created the psychological tests, says parole boards may need help to tackle the problem. “Many prison officials have told me that they need better training about what a psychopath is,” he says.

via Cunning psychopaths manipulate their way out of jail – science-in-society – 25 January 2009 – New Scientist.

2 thoughts on “Cunning psychopaths manipulate their way out of jail

  1. Ann

    I’ve read Bob Hare for a long time. Psychopaths are very interesting personalities. In my personal life, I only met one. And, it’s true, as Hare says, that is, on the surface they’re quite charming, friendly and intelligent.

    It’s strange sometimes in life, when you think you know someone. Then, suddenly it dawns on you, as it did me, who your friend really is. Whether good or bad, I tend to separate information I read in textbooks from my everyday casual life thinking perhaps textbook cases are rarities.

    I still kept being his “friend.” We were never really that “close” anyway. But, in the course of time that I knew him, about 6 years, he divorced and married twice, got a girl to whom he wasn’t married pregnant, got thrown out of a medical school and then allowed to return (in an “arrangement” with the dean), and set-up a fake professional enterprise about which he really knew nothing, but fooled enough people out of money. He also cheated two mutual male friends of mine out of several thousand dollars on “schemes” he devised, (yet the losers still think they’ll get paid back – that’s how good the psychopath was). Through all this, he told no one, not even his wives, that he was twice in prison and wanted for criminal charges in another country and for civil charges in yet another.

    An interesting guy, huh?

Leave a Reply