Prison Inmate Inventory

The United States has the highest documented number of incarcerated individuals in the world. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that 1% of American adults were being held in state or federal prisons and county jails as of the latter part of 2009. While jail inmates are usually incarcerated for relatively short periods, prison inmates are often incarcerated for years at a time. This in itself originates a set of attitudinal and behavioral concerns unique to prison inmates. In recent years, positively changing inmate behavior has been identified as a means to help reduce recidivism and alleviate prison over-crowding. Much of the criminology research focuses on the importance of matching problem severity to treatment/supervision intensity to most effectively rehabilitate offenders. A first step to positive behavioral change is accurate risk assessment. Assessment results are then used to develop effective and individualized supervision, intervention and treatment programs. Accurate prison inmate risk assessment is accomplished with the Prison Inmate Inventory (PII).

The PII is a widely-used prison inmate assessment. Test users include probation officers, corrections officers, mental health professionals and court-appointed evaluators. Personality, attitudinal and behavioral factors relevant to inmate risk include violence tendencies, substance use disorders, antisocial attitudes, adjustment problems, poor stress management skills and impaired self-esteem. These and other factors are measured by the PII and are referred to as dynamic variables. These traits are amenable to intervention and treatment (capable of change).

The Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) is an evidence based prison inmate (male and female) assessment instrument or test. The Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) consists of 161 items and takes 35 to 40 minutes, on average to complete. From data (answers) input, PII tests are scored with printed reports available on-site within 3 minutes. The Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) is designed for use in prisons (penitentiaries, penal institutions, detention facilities). The PII contains 10 scales.

Ten PII Scales (Measures)

  1. Truthfulness Scale measures inmate truthfulness while they are completing the test. It identifies denial, problem minimization and attempts to “fake good.”
  2. Alcohol Scale measures the severity of alcohol-related problems. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other liquors. Alcohol abuse is a common problem or concern among inmates.
  3. Drugs Scale measures prescription and non-prescription drug use and abuse. Drugs include marijuana, crack, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc.
  4. Violence (Lethality) Scale measures the use of force to injure, damage or destroy. It identifies inmates that are a danger to themselves and others.
  5. Antisocial Scale measures inmate’s antisocial attitudes and behavior. This scale identifies inmates that are opposed to society and social norms (rules, laws).
  6. Adjustment Scale measures the inmate’s ability to cope or adjust to incarceration. It assesses the inmate’s social and emotional adjustment to the routine, rules, expectations and consequences while incarcerated.
  7. Distress Scale measures inmate discomfort, unhappiness, apprehension, depression and pain. Distress incorporates all of these mentioned areas of concern.
  8. Self-Esteem Scale is descriptive of the person one believes them self to be. Reflects a persons’ explicit valuing and appraisal of self. It incorporates an attitude of acceptance – approval versus rejection - disapproval.
  9. Judgment Scale measures the inmate’s ability to draw conclusions from events and the actions of people around them. Inmate risk increases as judgment decreases.
  10. Stress Coping Abilities Scale measures an inmate’s ability to handle or manage stress. Stress exacerbates emotional and mental health symptoms. This is a non-introversive way to screen mental health problems.

PII Reports

In brief, PII reports summarize the inmate’s self-report history, present scale paragraphs that explain what attained scale scores mean, and offer specific scale score-related recommendations. Click the above link (top of the page) to review a Prison Inmate Inventory example report.

Two Ways To Administer PII Tests

The PII is available on two different systems: 1. Windows diskettes or USB flash drives ( and 2. on BDS’s internet testing platform (

Regardless of how tests are administered, all tests are computer scored and reports are printed on-site. Having two ways for test users to give tests enables them to select the system that is best suited to their needs.

Optical Scanner Scoring

Optical scanners involve customized answer sheets for scanner scoring, which is faster than manual data entry. This procedure combines paper-pencil testing with automated scoring. And, it involves purchasing a high speed scanner and coordination with our office to insure accurate scanner scoring. By offering another test administration option, you can select the mode or administrative option that best meets your needs. Optical Scanner Scoring is available with diskettes, USB flash drives and on our internet testing platform To discuss optical scanner scoring email us at with your preferred method of contact and we will follow-up.

In Conclusion

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 largely contingent upon early problem identification. The PII provides early problem recognition and aids in inmate rehabilitation, and is more than just another alcohol or drug test. In addition to truthfulness and substance abuse, the PII measures violence (lethality) potential, antisocial behavior, adjustment, self-esteem, distress, judgment, and stress coping abilities. Comprehensive male and female inmate assessment.

To understand the Prison Inmate Inventory (PII) and how obtained information is summarized and set forth in PII reports, we recommend you review the PII report. Click on this PII Report link.

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Review this article at Self-reported inmate conduct: Using static and dynamic factors to predict inmate recidivism. This article was submitted to The Prison Journal, in October 2014.

Copyright © 1999. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

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