007: Viewing Convicted Criminals as Children of God with Forensic Psychologist Jason Frizzell

viewing criminals children of god

Dr. Jason Frizzell previously served as a chief psychologist in the Arizona Department of Corrections where he developed programs such as mental health awareness training for corrections personnel, conducted psychotherapy with mentally ill offenders, and provided supervision for other mental health professionals seeking state licensure.  He is now employed as a forensic psychologist by the Maricopa County Competency Evaluation Program where he conducts psychological evaluations for the courts. Dr. Frizzell has also taught at the university level, conducting courses in introductory psychology, substance abuse, personality theory, and statistics.

In this episode, we will cover:

  • How he got into forensic psychology.
  • What forensic psychologists do.
  • Why he enjoys working with the forensic population.
  • What a day on the job looks like working with inmates who may be in super max facilities and even on death row.
  • Whether there is a tendency among those working in the prison systems to want to let prisoners suffer, rather than receive counseling or psychological treatment because “they deserve it.”
  • The best experience and worst experience he’s had as a forensic psychologist.
  • What it’s like to be on suicide watch in prison and what one inmate did when Jason wouldn’t take him off suicide watch immediately.
  • How working with criminals impacts his spiritual state and what he does to prepare himself to face that environment.
  • How saying to someone, “Tell me your story?” and then listening intently can help us see others as the Lord sees them (i.e., with greater love, compassion and understanding).
  • The phenomenon is psychology called the Fundamental Attribution Error and how we tend to take credit for success and excuse our failures, but when others fail we overvalue how responsible they were for their failure or misdeeds.
  • The importance of doing activities that make us feel renewed.
  • Stress and coping research that has to do with developing hardiness or resilience to protect ourselves against the stresses of everyday life.
  • How to maintain a belief in forgiveness, redemption and a God that is good when working with people who have done terrible things.
  • How to find peace in the knowledge that judgment is not up to us and that everything will be worked out in the judgment in the next life.
  • Why inmates find God in prison and how prevalent conversion is inside the prison system.
  • How it’s more common for prisoners to become more antisocial.
  • What it’s like to bear the responsibility of evaluating someone’s mental state.
  • The important role of humility when working as a forensic psychologist.
  • How Jason addresses the idea that if God is good and loving and all that He is purported to be, how could He created mentally defective people who then, as a result of that defect, do horrifying things to others.
  • The purpose and purifying power of sin and suffering.
  • How changing our perspective on an experience or situation can enable us to move through suffering and grow as a result.
  • How being in therapy can be hard work but that it’s worth it.
  • Where to start when you, a friend, loved one or employee who you think may have a mental illness.
  • The importance of working with a therapist who specializes in the issues you are dealing with and the willingness of therapists to refer you to the right person.
  • Options for people who don’t have insurance, including state funded mental health care programs and counseling programs at local universities and colleges that may even have sliding fees based on your income.
  • How life is like a lawn full of weeds (a metaphor for mental health).
  • The importance of doing things that are renewing and stress-reducing for you; don’t wait until catastrophic things happen because little stresses are cumulative and build up over time.

Resources Mentioned:


Fundamental Attribution Error:

  • On Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_error
  • A helpful video from Study dot com:  http://study.com/academy/lesson/fundamental-attribution-error-definition-lesson-quiz.html

Stress Inventory PDF with Ideas for Recovery:    https://www.ohrd.wisc.edu/Home/Portals/0/OPC/2009/Letting%20Go%20of%20Stress.pdfCortisol

Book about Resilience The Resilience Breakthrough: 27 Tools for Turning Adversity into Action on Amazon:  http://amzn.to/2rr3yRR

Episode about the man who let the woman go because she was singing “Amazing Grace” (told during the last 10 minutes or so):   http://godandbusinesstoday.com/gabt-005-investigative-reporter-finds-god-mike-wendland/

Episode #2 about Child Abuse:  http://godandbusinesstoday.com/003-child-abuse-prepared-life-purpose/

AHCCCS or Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System: https://www.azahcccs.gov/

Mercy Maricopa:  https://www.mercymaricopa.org/


Where to Find Jason Online:


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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