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’ behavioraladjustment record while incarcerated.

In this report, Mr. Selvog writes of Mr. Bowers:
“ In general his responses suggest a well-established need for social approvaland commendation, as evidenced by his tendencies to present himself in a favorablelight. That being said, his overall profile does not indicate any significantgeneralized antisocial tendencies, nor does he show an underlying predispositionto break social rules. Further, his level of social maladjustment isin the normal range, indicating he has an awareness of appropriate social expectationsand norms. Taken as a whole, his profile indicates he does not have avalue system typical of that found in criminal populations. Furthermore,in this regard, he is seen as not having significant authority conflicts; henceit appears he can relate to authority figures. . . . it is noted he isgenerally experiencing well below average levels of anger; hence thisemotion does not appear to be driving his behavior(s). . . . Based on an analysisof 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 AssessmentGuide, an actuarially derived instrument designed to identify the probabilityan individual will violently re-offend in a violent manner within the next sevenand ten years] there is little evidence to suggest that he is at riskto recidivate in a violent manner. Moreover, these instruments alsosuggest 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 priorcriminal record. In my estimation, he openly and honestly discussedhis institutional adjustment and incident reports to the fullest of his ability,recounting from memory 31 years of experience. It appears that the overwhelmingmajority of his confinement is without violation while replete with prosocialaccomplishment.

“ 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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