Uploaded by timgross68

325Week One Report Updated 2015

* All identifying information has been altered, including names and dates, to retain
Psychological Evaluation
Client Name:
Date of Birth:
Primary Language:
Jose Rodriguez
Referred By:
Court Number:
Date of Testing:
Date of Report:
Carol Jones, Esq.
Dov B. Finman, Psy.D.
Ms. Jones, attorney for Mr. Rodriguez, referred her client for a psychological evaluation
to assist with legal planning. Ms. Jones specifically requested that I evaluate whether there were
any mental health issues and what implications these would have in relation to legal planning.
Mr. Rodriguez was evaluated in a private room at Towers Jail. The testing took place on
02/12/15 and consisted of a structured clinical interview and four psychological tests. Overall,
the testing process, including the structured clinical interview, lasted eight hours.
Mr. Rodriguez was made aware that I was completing a psychological evaluation for his
attorney. After the limits to confidentiality were explained to Mr. Rodriguez, he signed consent
forms stating that he understood what was explained to him. He was also made aware and
consented to release of this report to his attorney to assist in his trial.
Ms. Jones provided the following documents for my review:
Arizona State Superior Court- Indictment
Phoenix Police Department Report (XXXX-XXXXX)
dated 10/11/14
from 10/01/14 to 10/20/14
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV)
Woodcock Johnson-III Tests of Achievement (Passage Comprehension Subtest)
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-II (MMPI-2)
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Cultural/ Spiritual Affiliations:
Racial, ethnic, spiritual and cultural background was taken into account when completing
this evaluation. A general acculturation assessment was conducted in accord with DSM5 Outline
for Cultural Formulation. Mr. Rodriguez’s cultural and spiritual identity, cultural and spiritual
explanations for presenting problems, cultural factors related to psychosocial environment and
levels of functioning, cultural elements of the relationship between the examiner and the client,
and overall cultural and spiritual factors related to diagnosis and ongoing treatment, were
thoroughly examined and considered with all of the data available and gathered during this
Mr. Rodriguez was born in the eastern part of Phoenix, Arizona, and was reared mainly in
the southern part of the city. This area is known as a disadvantaged area where many families
may suffer from intergenerational poverty. Individuals reared in disadvantaged areas often do not
have the same access to services such as health care, housing, and education. Many people who
are reared in this type of environment experience the trauma of not having enough money to
provide for the basics of living, food, clothing, or rent. Individuals from disadvantaged areas are
typically subjected to survival-based experiences, and develop survival-based methods of coping
with the trauma of daily living. Individuals reared in disadvantaged neighborhoods are often
exposed to crime and gangs on a daily basis. Of particular interest, Mr. Rodriguez said that he
was “born into it” with reference to his involvement in gang activity. These experiences serve to
form a subculture within the mainstream, American culture. Being reared in this subculture can
have profound lasting effects on how someone views the world.
In addition, Mr. Rodriguez spent most of his life in juvenile and adult correctional
facilities. These settings also form a subculture, often referred to as “prison culture” and can
result in “institutionalization.” These terms refer to the effect institutional settings have on an
individual, and the role it plays in developing survival-based ways of living. Mr. Rodriguez
described his behavior as an adolescent at Adobe Mountain School (AMS) as, “paranoid,
hoarding, trading, in order to survive.” He also stated that he “saw jail as inevitable.” Mr.
Rodriguez spent the majority of his life in either criminal institutions or a disadvantaged
community. Due to Mr. Rodriguez's affiliation with these subcultures, it is not uncommon for
him to display a guarded or suspicious approach with others and to questions their intentions.
Mr. Rodriguez's spiritual affiliation was also taken into consideration. Mr. Rodriguez said
that he wants to “find God” and “get religious,” although he reported no specific religious
preference. He said that he has attended Christian services in the past, and that he currently
studies the Bible with the chaplain in the jail. Mr. Rodriguez brought his Bible study papers with
him to the testing session.
Although there were these subcultural experiences and practices, these did not appear to
affect the examiner/examinee relationship or the free exchange of information, nor did they
appear to form the foundation for symptoms of a serious mental illness.
It is important to note that Mr. Rodriguez was brutally honest during the interview and
that he made statements that could potentially be held against him or result in new charges
against him. As a result, I will provide only enough information to adequately make my points,
clarify my opinions, and give his attorney a clear impression of his client's life experiences.
Mr. Rodriguez was indicted on November 11, 2008 for charges of sexual assault and
armed robbery. He is currently being held at the Towers jail facility. Mr. Rodriguez was escorted
to a private room for psychological testing. Mr. Rodriguez was seen for eight consecutive hours
with only one break for the restroom. When he was notified about the purpose of the visit and
that testing would take approximately eight hours, Mr. Rodriguez had no qualms, and jokingly
stated that had he known the testing would take that long he “would’ve brought a cookie.”
Mr. Rodriguez reported that he has four siblings. He had an older sister, who was a
paraplegic, who passed away. Mr. Rodriguez was emotional as he described his sister. About her
death, he stated, “My mom never told us why or what.” Mr. Rodriguez has one younger brother,
one younger sister, and one half-sister. He stated that he is in touch with all of them and that “all
my family is doing good now.” Mr. Rodriguez’s sister is married with two children. He stated
that she comes to visit him at the jail. His brother is also married, with two children, but he does
not come to visit him at the jail because, “He’s scared I’ll never get out.”
Throughout the interview, Mr. Rodriguez referred to the mother of his two children as his
wife. Initially he stated that they were engaged, but, nevertheless, he referred to her as his wife.
He stated that she also comes to visit him, and that he worries about her because she is “eight
months and two weeks pregnant.”
Early Development:
Mr. Rodriguez stated that he did not know much about his birth history except that he
thinks that there were no complications. He was asked what his first word was, and at what age
he took his first steps, and he said that he did not remember. He added, “Stuff like this wasn't
discussed.” Later he said, “I don't think my mom cares.”
As a young child Mr. Rodriguez lived in the home with his mother and father, and
siblings. He recalled some happy memories about birthdays and holidays. They did not have
money for gifts, but Mr. Rodriguez's mother did her best to make holidays a special time. He
stated, “We didn't have much but she made it as exciting as she could.” He also recalled being in
a third grade play. Mr. Rodriguez could not remember any other positive memories in his early
childhood, but he stated, “Everything I think about I make positive. Whatever God gives you,
you deal your best with.”
Mr. Rodriguez stated that right after he was born his father got into a car accident and
started taking pain medication. Eventually he became addicted to heroin in order to deal with the
pain. Mr. Rodriguez reported that his mom said that she met his dad “on the streets.” He added,
“She says that before drugs he was real nice, had all his teeth.”
Middle Childhood:
Mr. Rodriguez described his relationship with his mom as “nice.” His relationship with
his father, however, was described as abusive; he felt that his dad, “didn't like me, he despised
me.” Mr. Rodriguez described an extensive history of physical abuse from his father until age
nine. He stated that his father “would whoop me with vacuum cords, and rabbit ear antennas.”
His father called him “a piece of shit” and “a fucking little punk.” His father said to him, “I ain't
your dad” and “I'm gonna [sic] kill you one of these days you bitch.” Mr. Rodriguez referred to
these names as “all the normal shit.” At age nine, Mr. Rodriguez's father routinely kicked him out
of the house for the night. He locked him outside, in his underwear. Mr. Rodriguez resorted to
sleeping at night in the laundry room of his apartment complex. He said that he “put snacks and
blankets out there, it became normal to me.”
Mr. Rodriguez's father woke him up at four AM so that he could help collect empty soda
cans. He related one story about when his father lowered him into the canal, at a young age, to
retrieve a large piece of scrap metal. His father tied a rope around him and lowered him in; the
rope became loose, and he fell all the way down. Mr. Rodriguez said that he was crying and
wanted his dad to pull him out. He said that his father left, and eventually “some old lady picked
me up, I was crying.” Mr. Rodriguez stated, “Whenever dad wasn't around then my house was
cool.” He said that his dad “would do drugs, and be passed out and mom would be making me
lunch and sending me to school.” He also said, “My dad used to always do heroin, try and hit my
mom, I used to always jump in the way, I used to always stand up to him whether he was
smashing stuff or breaking things.” This was in third grade. In fourth grade Mr. Rodriguez's
parents separated because his father got his niece pregnant. Mr. Rodriguez said that his dad
“didn't like my mom.” He reported that his dad “used to break into our house, steal mom's
jewelry, and take our food stamps.” Mr. Rodriguez began to fill the role of protector of his home
to try and keep his father from breaking in and taking their things. He explained, “I'd stay up all
night, I was the watch guard, I became territorial, became a thug.” He said that after staying up
the whole night it was difficult to stay awake during the day, so he would, “bite my tongue to
wake up.” Mr. Rodriguez stated that he had to learn how to anticipate how his father would act
so that he could defend himself and his house. He added that he “learned the life of a heroin
addict just to know what to do.”
Mr. Rodriguez reported that his dad “would kick down the door, mom would cry, she
couldn't afford to fix it, so I would steal clothing with tags and like say I found it in the trash.”
His mother was not happy that her son was stealing, but she pretended to believe him because
they needed to pay rent and buy food. He stated that even though they lived in low income
housing, they still did not have enough money to pay the rent. He stated that he stole from the
neighbors “soap, meat, cereal, we knew they were gone because they would tell us to feed their
cats. I don't feel bad for [sic] it.” He also reported shoplifting from the grocery store. He
described this as, “survival, you do what you need to survive.”
Mr. Rodriguez said that he did not want to go to school because he knew that his dad
would break into his house and steal their things when he was gone at school. He wanted to be
home to protect his house from his father. He reported that the school principal and the police
came to his home and escorted him to school. All the while, his father would break into his
house. Mr. Rodriguez said that it was at this time that he started distrusting the police. He said, “I
stopped liking the police for that reason, cuz [sic] they helped him take it when they sent me to
school.” Mr. Rodriguez wanted the police to stop his father from breaking in to their house.
Instead, he felt that they were helping his dad break in because they were taking him to school.
When his father broke into their house, his mother called the police, but by the time they arrived,
his father was gone.
Mr. Rodriguez stated, “When I went to school, I was aggressive.” He reported that he did
not have any friends in grade school, and that he was “angry” and “protective.” He said that
“Everyone else got Nintendo and new shoes, and their parents didn't want me with their kids.” In
fourth grade, Mr. Rodriguez started “smoking weed.” He also started “stealing cheap vodka from
Walgreen's.” He said that he started smoking cigarettes “to keep warm.” In fifth grade, Mr.
Rodriguez went to school with “a knife and a joint” in his sock. He said that he “took everyone’s
change and watches cuz [sic] I knew we needed it.” At the age of eleven or twelve, Mr.
Rodriguez was charged with shoplifting gold spray paint “to sniff,” and ordered to Adobe
Mountain School (AMS) for forty five days.
Mr. Rodriguez felt a sense of accomplishment when he graduated from eighth grade. He
said that, “everything was going bad and I still graduated.” He was particularly happy that his
grandfather was at the graduation because he always wanted to make his grandfather proud. Mr.
Rodriguez related that his grandfather “always told me that he wasn't proud of the way I'm
growin [sic] up. He said don't trust your dad, keep him away.” Mr. Rodriguez added “No one
ever stopped him. Everyone told me one day you'll stop him.”
Mr. Rodriguez stated that he started getting interested in gangs at age thirteen, right after
his eighth grade graduation. He also reported having a few friends at this point. Mr. Rodriguez's
friends had a similar background. They had abusive and drug abusing fathers. They became
good friends because they understood each other and what they had to deal with on a daily basis.
Other kids made fun of them, but this group of kids understood each other and provided each
other with support.
During the summer after his eighth grade graduation, Mr. Rodriguez's mother threw a
party at which Mr. Rodriguez's younger sister was molested. Mr. Rodriguez reported that his
sister stopped eating and had difficulty sleeping. Mr. Rodriguez wanted to get back at the guy
who molested his sister. He viewed this violation of his family and sister as being related to the
fact that he graduated from eighth grade. He stated, “I took it as, I got attacked again once I got
soft.” He added, “I knew I couldn't stop what I was doing.” Mr. Rodriguez thought that it was his
turn to defend his sister from being molested, just like his grandfather had protected his daughter.
Mr. Rodriguez further stated that his grandfather killed someone that molested his daughter and
that his grandfather was convicted for murder and sent to prison for nine years. Mr. Rodriguez
figured that he would follow in his grandfather's footsteps. He stated, “I figured it was my calling
to murder this dude, to go to jail.” His grandfather convinced him not to follow through with this.
Mr. Rodriguez said, “I promised him I won't kill nobody [sic], I was ready to die.”
Mr. Rodriguez stated that he joined a gang at age thirteen, and that he carried a pistol as a
teenager. He said that his “family's been protected ever since.” He added that he has “no remorse,
no regret” for that decision. Mr. Rodriguez stated that at age thirteen or fourteen he was
convicted of adult organized crime and sent to the Madison Street Jail for eighteen months. After
release, he took part in a summer youth program working in maintenance. Mr. Rodriguez
described the program as similar to Job Corps; he took summer school and worked at the same
time. At age fifteen, Mr. Rodriguez worked at a supermarket (Food City), but quit after three
months because “there were too many Spanish people.” At age sixteen, Mr. Rodriguez was again
charged with adult organized crime and ordered to Tucson Rincon Minors Detention Unit where
he stayed until just before his eighteenth birthday.
Mr. Rodriguez is currently twenty eight years old, and has spent the majority of his adult
life in prison. After he was released from Tucson-Rincon right before his eighteenth birthday, he
worked at McDonald's but this employment was short lived, as he was arrested for “theft of
means” at the age of eighteen. Mr. Rodriguez explained that he “was involved with a girl who
stole cars.” He served 3 ½ years and was released at the age of twenty-two. He gained
employment at Superior Wholesale Tires doing warehouse delivery. After four months, he was
charged with promoting prison contraband and served ten months. Mr. Rodriguez explained that
the charge was for throwing packs of cigarettes over the fence at one of the Phoenix jails. He said
that when he was in prison, other inmates said that they would bring cigarettes after they get
released. Mr. Rodriguez stated that everyone that got released always forgot about everyone that
was still in prison. He stated that he did not want to forget about everyone still inside prison, so
he came with packs of cigarettes and threw them over the fence.
After he was released, Mr. Rodriguez worked at Philip's Roofing for two months. He left
this job after two months because “roofing was hard,” and it did not pay well. He started working
at Air Filter Product, as a delivery person, but lost this job after three months because of
downsizing. At the age of twenty- four, Mr. Rodriguez was sent back to prison for two years for
possession of methamphetamine. He was released in 2013, and started working on his own. He
stated that he went door to door, offering to mow people's lawns. He stated that he sold DVD's
and that he collected scrap metal. Eventually he knocked on the door of the owner of CNJ
subcontractors and he offered him a job. He stated that he was building a car wash for two
months when he was indicted for his current offense in November, 20014.
Mr. Rodriguez was asked to remember positive memories from his adult life. He stated,
“Nothing was worthwhile till [sic] I met my wife Monica.” He met Monica in 2009 when he left
his mother and step-father's house. Mr. Rodriguez's mother remarried and he reported that he
fought with his step-father, left home and began living with friends. He stated that he met
Monica at a friend's house and that they eventually got an apartment together. He stated that it
was difficult but that he “…started cooking dinner, buying groceries, I never did that before.” He
added that “it took discipline.” Mr. Rodriguez stated that he “had a purpose again.”
Mr. Rodriguez has two children with Monica, and she is 8 ½ months pregnant with their
third child. Mr. Rodriguez emphasized that he believes that he has meaning in his life now. He
stated that now his actions affect his children. He stated, “I'm not by myself anymore cuz [sic]
I've got my kids. In 2009 I thought I had no purpose, now that I got kids it matters where I go.”
Criminal and Antisocial Behaviors:
Mr. Rodriguez reported that he was sent to Adobe Mountain School (AMS) twice. He
stated that he was sent at either age eleven or twelve for shoplifting spray paint. Mr. Rodriguez
stated that he was sent to AMS a second time for theft of means, but he did not recall at what age
this occurred. Mr. Rodriguez stated that AMS “was better than being at home, they had a
swimming pool, weights, kids your age.” Mr. Rodriguez said that the other youth there were
“like his family.” He stated that he thought that he did not gain anything positive from being at
AMS. He thought that someone should have been strict with him while he was there and set him
on the straight path. Mr. Rodriguez stated that the counselors were “overweight and lazy paper
pushers.” He added that the counselors were “too nice” and should have been tougher with him.
He stated that the only way he would have listened is if they would have been tough with him.
Mr. Rodriguez reported that the youth were not honest with the counselors and that they just told
the counselors “what they wanted to hear.” Whether or not this is true for other youth, Mr.
Rodriguez's statement reflects his impression and experience at AMS.
Mr. Rodriguez was sent to Durango Jail twice as a teenager. The first time was for a
violation of probation. Mr. Rodriguez stated that he was smoking marijuana at a party. Mr.
Rodriguez stated that he could not remember what he was charged with the second time he was
sent to Durango Jail.
Mr. Rodriguez also reported that at the age of thirteen of fourteen, he was sent to Madison
Street Jail for adult organized crime. He served eighteen months there. Mr. Rodriguez reported
that he was again charged with adult organized crime at age sixteen and sent to Tucson Rincon
Minors Unit and was released shortly before turning eighteen.
At age eighteen, Mr. Rodriguez was arrested for theft of means and served three and a
half years. He was arrested again at the age of twenty two and served ten months for promoting
prison contraband. Mr. Rodriguez reported that he was next arrested at the age of twenty three
for possession of methamphetamine and he served 2.25 years. Mr. Rodriguez was indicted in
November, 20014 for his current charges.
Substance Use/Abuse:
Mr. Rodriguez reported an extensive history of substance abuse. He started smoking
marijuana at age nine. He stated that he smoked “a dime a day.” He stated that he last smoked
marijuana in October, 2013, before he was indicted. Mr. Rodriguez began drinking beer at age
ten. He stated that he drank approximately two cans a day, at dinner. He reported that he last
drank alcohol the day before his indictment. Mr. Rodriguez reported that he began to use cocaine
at the age of twelve. He said, “I was cold and hungry when I did it.” He added that he used
cocaine whenever he could get it. Mr. Rodriguez reported that he discontinued use in 2003 at age
sixteen. Mr. Rodriguez started using “sherm,” “acid,” and “shrooms” at age fourteen. He
reported using sherm every day for two months, but he stopped after those two months. Mr.
Rodriguez said that it “made you feel crazy strong.” He described how he ran into traffic on the
highway when he was using it, and that he was scared by the behavior he exhibited when he was
high on sherm. Mr. Rodriguez stated that he used acid and shrooms “a couple times a week” until
age sixteen. He stated that he would “take acid and chew on shrooms.” Mr. Rodriguez stated that
he started using “meth” at age fifteen and that he last used November, 2014, prior to his current
indictment. He stated that he used meth, “every day, every two hours.” Additionally, Mr.
Rodriguez reported that he started smoking cigarettes at age thirteen because “they made me feel
When Mr. Rodriguez was asked what problems drug use has caused, he stated, “all of
them.” He added, “All my charges are drug related.” He stated, “I wouldn't have stolen those
cars, I was high with nothin [sic] to do.” He also stated that it affected him at work. He stated
that he called in sick when he was “drunk.” He stated that he went in late, and that he is “pretty
sure my promotion got denied,” because of his drug use. Mr. Rodriguez stated “I just couldn't
control my drug urges.” He added that, “I'd be bipolar at work. I was not a good co-worker. I
didn't like anybody, and nobody [sic] liked me.” He added, “People were surprised when I came
in happy, because I wasn't on drugs.” Mr. Rodriguez stated, “I would have energy one day and be
depressed the other, so I went back to what I knew, I started to do drugs again.”
Mr. Rodriguez stated that even as a child his drug use affected his relationship with his
family. He stated that he went home “high” and that it affected his “home life.” He stated that he
felt “isolated” as a child, and that his drug use made it worse.
Mr. Rodriguez did not report any psychiatric intervention during childhood or
adolescence. He reported, however, that he was diagnosed with ADHD (Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder) and PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) as an adult while he was in
prison in Tucson. He stated that currently he is prescribed him Lithium, Buspar, Neurontin, and
“other stuff.” Mr. Rodriguez stated that he does not take any of the medication because it “made
me slow.” Mr. Rodriguez also stated that the Buspar made him feel paranoid. He stated that he
stopped taking the medication that he was prescribed because they make him “sleepy.” Mr.
Rodriguez referred to the medication as “sleepers.” He stated that the pills put him to sleep for
twelve to sixteen hours. He also stated that he is worried people will take advantage of him. He
stated that he took the medication once and that he was “asleep within thirty minutes, with half
the day left.” He added, “I got stuff to do, I got a family out there, I don't wanna be drugged up.”
Mr. Rodriguez did not report any family history of psychiatric illness, except for his
mother. He stated that she has “some type of retardation.” Later in the session he added, “My
mom might be retarded and slow, but she didn’t raise no rapist or coward.” Mr. Rodriguez also
said that his mother was diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar. During the second session he said
that his mother’s disability was “Parkinson’s.” He also reported that his father and other
extended family members use and abuse illicit drugs and alcohol.
Mental Status/Behavioral Observations:
Mr. Rodriguez is a twenty-eight year old, right handed, Mexican American male. He
presented wearing standard jail-issued cloths, with adequate grooming and hygiene. He stated
that he was 5’8” tall and weighed 165 pounds. He had tattoos on his fingers, and on his back. He
also had a scar on his leg from an accident involving a truck when he was a child.
During the evaluation, Mr. Rodriguez was very guarded, and his thoughts appeared to be
paranoid. He made a number of guttural sounds and when asked if he had a cold he was
confused as to why he was being asked. When it was brought to his attention that he was making
noises in his throat he became more paranoid and said that he was not.
Mr. Rodriguez spoke rapidly and moved his legs about throughout the entire session. He
said that he either “has a lot of energy or no energy.” He reported that when he has “a lot of
energy” his “mind races and I pace all the time.” He said that he does not need a lot of sleep
when he has this energy and he does not feel tired. He reported, however, that there were times
when he has been “really depressed” and when he has “no energy.” Mr. Rodriguez stated that he
hears voices when he is “mad.” He gave, as an example, when he lost his job. He said that the
voices call him “names and stuff” and that they sound like his father. He recalled the voices
calling him things like “loser.” He also reported, in a matter-of-fact manner, “I can see stuff
through the T.V.” He explained, “They want Obama to be white. They have all kinds of
subliminal messages about that.”
Mr. Rodriguez openly described traumatic abuse that he endured from his father. At two
separate points during the evaluation, Mr. Rodriguez’s eyes welled with tears and he began
crying. The first time Mr. Rodriguez cried was when he described his relationship with his
mother. He explained that they had a caring relationship, and he began to cry as he stated, “As I
got older I gotta take care of her,” describing her mental health needs. The second time he began
to cry was on the last test that was administered. Mr. Rodriguez was given a very ambiguous
stimulus and was asked to make up a story. He told a story about, “a man who gave in to selfdefeat, made mistakes.” The outcome of the story was that the man would “learn from them, be
stronger, and be a closer family.” As Mr. Rodriguez explained what the character of the story was
thinking, he began to cry as he said, “My mom might be retarded and slow, but she didn’t raise
no [sic] rapist or coward.”
Mr. Rodriguez’s Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) was found to be in the low average range of
functioning. This score is made up of several component scales which will assist in
understanding his cognitive strengths and weaknesses.
His Perceptual Reasoning (PRI) and Working Memory (WMI) index scores were
significantly higher (both in the average range) than his Verbal Comprehension (VCI) (low
average range) and Processing Speed (PSI) (borderline range) index scores. The significantly
higher PRI score indicates that Mr. Rodriguez has average visual-spatial, visual-scanning, and
nonverbal reasoning skills. His score on the WMI also suggests at least average abilities in
attention and concentration which are the precursors for new learning. The significantly lower
VCI score reflects some difficulties with understanding the meaning of English words, verbal
reasoning, and that he has not retained/learned information typically acquired in school. His low
score on the VCI likely reflects his poor academic foundation. The PSI score which was in the
borderline range of functioning indicates overall slower processing of information and perhaps
difficulty with sustained attention (two minutes) to mundane tasks. The individual subtest
strengths and weaknesses will further assist in understanding Mr. Rodriguez’s capabilities.
Significant subtest weaknesses (impaired scores) were noted for the Similarities,
Vocabulary, and Coding subtests. The former subtests measure verbal reasoning (categorization
for seemingly unrelated objects) and his understanding of words in the English language. The
latter subtest (Coding) measures, in addition to visual scanning and psychomotor speed,
sustained attention to a mundane task. A strength was noted on the Digit Span subtest which
measures attention and concentration. On this subtest (which was still within the average range),
the individual is asked to recall a string of numbers both in forward and reverse sequence.
Attention and concentration are the precursors for new learning. In spite of his difficulties in
some areas of functioning, this latter subtest would suggest that he is capable of learning.
Overall, these scores reflect Mr. Rodriguez’s impoverished academic experiences, the
lack of emphasis on education in the home, yet indicate that he has the ability to learn. His
intellectual abilities appear to be within the average (albeit low average) range of functioning.
The Woodcock Johnson -3- Passage Comprehension subtest from the Tests of
Achievement Battery was used to obtain a reading comprehension level to assist in
understanding Mr. Rodriguez's capabilities for taking the MMPI-2 test. His score indicates that
his reading comprehension abilities were adequate for the standard, independent administration
of the MMPI-2.
On measures of personality, Mr. Rodriguez produced a valid profile on the MMPI-II. He
appeared to have no difficulties understanding how to complete this test. He completed the test in
an acceptable amount of time. He only left one response blank. It is noteworthy that he did not
ask for, or require any explanation for any of the test items.
The Variable and True Response Index (VRIN and TRIN) scales from his profile were
within acceptable ranges and indicate that he understood and responded to the test item content
in a consistent manner. The F (Infrequency) scale was significantly elevated. This finding, when
combined with the elevated score on the Fp (Infrequency-Psychopathology) scale, reflect an
individual that is reporting a lot of symptoms, and even endorsing symptoms some that
psychiatric patients do not usually endorse. This indicates that he is likely over-reporting
symptoms in an attempt to “cry for help.” The L (Lie) scale and the S (Superlative) scale were
found to be in acceptable range. The K scale was significantly low; however, but it did not
invalidate the test. The F-K (Dissimulation Index) score was also within an acceptable range.
The supplemental scales could not be interpreted due to an elevated FB (Back F) scale which
indicates that Mr. Rodriguez may have had difficulty focusing his attention in the latter part of
the test. The FBS scale, another Infrequency scale that indicates the exaggeration of symptoms
was not significantly elevated. Combined, the validity scales indicate that Mr. Rodriguez is
likely overwhelmed and in need of help but the profile was valid for a cautious interpretation.
There were two elevations on the main Clinical Scales. The Pa (Paranoia) scale and the
Pd (Psychopathic Deviate) scale were both elevated. The highest elevation was on the Pa scale
which indicates that Mr. Rodriguez views the world as an unsafe place. He feels misunderstood
and unfairly treated. He may be more high strung and sensitive than other people. His sense of
loneliness may drive him to partake in risky behaviors in order to make himself feel better. His
responses also indicate that he may display psychotic behavior. His thinking is suspiciousness
and paranoid. He experiences ongoing delusions of persecution.
The elevation on the Pd scale is consistent with Mr. Rodriguez’s antisocial behaviors, his
dysfunctional family experiences, and suggest that he views his family of origin as lacking in
love, understanding, and support. This leaves him feeling isolated, estranged, and with feelings
of resentment. He has definite opinions about what is wrong and what is right, and will stand up
for his beliefs. He resents the standards of society, and admits difficulties with law. He may also
express guilt and remorse for his past deeds.
The results from the MMPI-2 are consistent with the symptoms Mr. Rodriguez described
in the clinical interview, as well as the other data available for this assessment. The data are
consistent with Mr. Rodriguez’s report of his traumatic home life as a child and his criminal
activity for survival. The data also indicate that he has developed some difficulty interpreting the
world around him. He has developed paranoid thinking about people, and also reported
experiencing hallucinations. These findings suggest the possibility of a serious thought
disturbance and maladaptive personality traits.
Mr. Rodriguez had some difficulty with the ambiguity of the Thematic Apperception Test
(TAT). It apparently generated a good deal of anxiety for him as his thoughts clearly regressed
and his responses were not well organized at times. Six of his responses included religious
references relating to “God,” “blessings,” “being made in God’s image,” “grace and goodness,”
saying “Amen” after a response on a card. Two other responses involved the “devil.” The nature
of his responses suggests more than just a preoccupation with his spiritual beliefs. In contrast,
these types of responses are almost exclusively given by schizophrenic patients. It is also
noteworthy that at times his responses reflected some tangential thinking and clear disturbances
in boundaries as he personalized one of the neutral stimuli, inserted characters that were not
present in the stimuli, and carried a bizarre theme from one stimulus onto a later one.
Mr. Rodriguez described a number of themes that are consistent with the other data in this
assessment. Throughout the test Mr. Rodriguez projected feelings of being alone or scared. He
projected characters that felt regret and burden for their past deeds. For one stimulus which
typically is related to loneliness, helplessness, and feeling overwhelmed, Mr. Rodriguez
projected a “cold emptiness” onto one of the characters. He then described that this feeling led
the character to think, “I’ve got to get out of this cold, find a better way to live, my last night of
stealing, my last night of drugs.”
Consistent with Mr. Rodriguez’s report of a physically and verbally abusive father, were
characters that were disappointed with their family of origin. For one stimulus Mr. Rodriguez
described a person who was disappointed that “dad wasn’t doing his job.” This character had to
be a “tough guy, protecting his mom.” For another stimulus which typically elicits a father-son
relationship, Mr. Rodriguez left out the father from the story. This response is also consistent
with his report that his father was not available to him. Another theme related to his family of
origin, was his projection of the intense desire and need for love. Mr. Rodriguez projected that to
lose love was “feeling the worst pain in the world.” He further projected that it “feels like
In general, and quite surprising, most of his responses described had positive outcomes.
There was no means, however, to these outcomes and the concrete steps to explain how the
positive outcome took place was not there. This indicates that although Mr. Rodriguez may be
optimistic about his future, he has few coping or problem solving skills. Not surprising, in many
of his responses, the theme was admitting to drug use or crime, feeling shame and remorse, and
finding hope that things would end up on the right path. There was no description of things that
would assist in discontinuing drug use and criminal activity. For one stimulus, Mr. Rodriguez
described, “a man trying to climb to the top by himself.” For another stimulus he stated, “I have
the rest of my life to make it right.” This is consistent with Mr. Rodriguez’s report that he wants
to change the direction of his life; however, his perception that he lacks support and his lack of
problem-solving skills seem to present a great challenge.
The test data here suggest the possibility of serious perceptual and thought disturbances.
They are also consistent with the MMPI-2 data that suggest Mr. Rodriguez is overwhelmed and
does not have the requisite coping skills. He may be in the early stages of a serious psychotic
Diagnostic Formulation:
The test data, self-report, behavioral observations, and his history suggest the possibility
of mood, thought, and perceptual disturbances. It would be easiest to organize these difficulties
by disturbance.
With respect to mood, Mr. Rodriguez has been diagnosed with an Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder. The records supporting this diagnosis were not available. Observations
made during this evaluation, however, indicate some excessive energy and some racing thoughts
(rapid speech). During testing his thoughts became quite tangential and disconnected at times.
He reported that he has periods when his energy is “excessive” and that he “paces all the time.”
He said that his mind “races” and that when he has all this “energy” he does not require a lot of
sleep. He also reported contrasting periods of depression. He stated that during these periods he
can “sleep a lot” and has no motivation to do anything. He had fewer descriptors for these
periods but described himself as “depressed” when they occur. These symptoms suggest both
hypomanic and depressed episodes but do not fully meet diagnostic criteria for a full bipolar
disorder. It is clear, however, that there is a major mood component to his difficulties. His
history of emotional abuse, berating, and physical abuse and neglect would have provided a
foundation for a serious mood disorder. There is also some indication of a genetic predisposition
for mood disorders as he said that his mother is “bipolar.”
Thought disturbances, primarily paranoid, were pervasive throughout the test data and
suggested during the clinical interview. He was guarded and suspicious during the second
evaluation session. He spoke of being paranoid, receiving subliminal messages from the
television, and made several statements to indicate that he felt others would take advantage of
him. Although it is possible that when he is asleep other inmates could harm him or take
advantage of him, and that this was the reason he would not take prescribed psychiatric
medications, he also said that it was the intention of the jail staff to put the inmates sleep for
“long periods of time.” This would indicate that perhaps there was more of a paranoid quality to
his concern about the medications and not just the real possibility that others could harm him.
Essentially, there is a clear disturbance of thought that also needs to be considered diagnostically.
In addition to the mood and thought disturbances, Mr. Rodriguez reported that he has had
some bizarre sensory experiences. He reported auditory hallucinations in the form of voices that
sounded like his father, which are derogatory and condemning in nature. His responses to the
TAT were also consistent with a schizophrenic-spectrum disorder. He made some bizarre
statements reflecting religious preoccupation, showed very poor boundaries, and his thinking
became very tangential and disconnected.
Given the clear presence of thought, mood, and perceptual disturbances, it is likely that
Mr. Rodriguez suffers from Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type. Because of his age, he is
likely in the early stages of this disorder and will need to be monitored for the full and more clear
manifestation of the disorder to clearly identify what his treatment needs will be, however, he
currently meets diagnostic criteria for the Schizoaffective Disorder.
Mr. Rodriguez also reported using marijuana, “meth,” and beer, on a daily basis, up until
he was arrested on his current charges. He stated that he used a “dime” of marijuana every day,
that he used “meth,” “every day, every two hours,” and that he consumed beer every night. He
stated that using substances affected his work performance. He stated that he would call in sick
to work when he was really “drunk.” He also stated that he would come in late to work because
of his drug use, and that he believes that his drug use likely prevented him from getting a
promotion at work. Mr. Rodriguez acknowledged the negative impact drug use has had on his
life. He stated that, “all of my charges are drug related.” He explained that his other charges
occurred while he was using a substance. Mr. Rodriguez stated, “I was high with nothin [sic] to
do.” It is likely that without treatment he would still be abusing these substances and that his
current abstinence is controlled by the environment he is in. Mr. Rodriguez appears to meet
criteria for Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe; Cannabis Use Disorder, Severe; and Stimulant Use
Disorder, Severe.
Mr. Rodriguez has had difficulty accepting societal standards since he was a young
adolescent. He has been in trouble with the law and incarcerated most of his adolescent and
almost all of his adult years. Although these behaviors may have facilitated survival in the area
where he was reared, they are contrary to societal expectations and are maladaptive. He clearly
meets diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Although we could not substantiate them, Mr. Rodriguez indicated that he has been
previously diagnosed and treated for ADHD and PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). These
diagnostic impressions could not be separately met and appear to be related or assumed in the
disorders where we have met full diagnostic criteria. They should, however, be noted for
subsequent service providers.
Diagnostic Impression:
Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar Type
Alcohol Use Disorder, Severe
Cannabis Use Disorder, Severe
Stimulant Use Disorder, Severe
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Treatment Recommendations if Culpability is Established:
The community only benefits if offenders are rehabilitated and present no future risk of
danger. Ms. Jones should consider advocating for the following conditions which will facilitate
the rehabilitation of Mr. Rodriguez, which are clearly in his best interest and the best interest of
the community at large:
Mr. Rodriguez’s psychotic and mood disturbances will need to be treated prior
to any other services becoming effective. He will need a psychiatric
evaluation, registration with the local community service provider, and
ongoing monitoring of treatment response and effectiveness.
His criminal activity appears to be related, in a large degree, to his use of
illegal substances. Once clinically stable, his need for self-medicating drugs
and alcohol will be reduced and he might be more amenable to substance
abuse treatment. Treatment should also focus on creating a support system for
Mr. Rodriguez to prevent relapse once he returns to the community.
Psychiatric treatment is always more effective with the inclusion of
psychotherapy. Individual psychotherapy is recommended, with a therapist
skilled in addressing individuals who have difficulty trusting. His therapist
should help him explore and deal with the many family of origin issues
(mostly related to trauma).
A vocational assessment and subsequent training is also recommended. Work
skills and training that would lead to a viable, self-supporting occupation would
enable Mr. Rodriguez to support himself and his family upon his release from
We hope the information contained in this report is helpful as you prepare your defense
for Mr. Rodriguez. If you choose to submit it, we also hope it is of benefit to the Court. If you
have any questions concerning the contents of this report or require additional information,
please feel free to contact me
Dov Finman PsyD
NYS License # 020036-1