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Chief Psychologist, Correctional Facility (9859)

Chief Psychologist, Correctional Facility

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: XL45
  • Class Code: 9859
  • Established: 04/07/1992
  • Revised: 06/15/1993
  • Title Changed: 06/15/1993


Under general direction, in a State correctional facility in the Department of Corrections, responsible for the overall supervision of psychologists in a correctional institution. As supervisor of psychological services, plans, directs and coordinates the various psychological activities consistent with the mission of a particular correctional facility. Responsible to maintain order and supervise the conduct of inmates; to protect and maintain the safety of persons and property; and to do other related work. Positions allocated to this level are found at correctional institutions with major mental health care programs.

Typical Tasks

In a correctional setting, investigates behavior problems or mental disorders; examines, diagnoses, classifies, and prescribes psychological treatment and rehabilitation programs for adult offenders in a correctional facility; supervises and participates in the diagnosis, care and treatment of psychotic inmates in a correctional institution; secures and reviews data on heredity, congenital and environmental factors pertaining to individual offenders; applies findings of psychological examination; directs the giving of psychotherapy and other treatment for preventing and correcting behavior disorders; directs and participates in staff conferences and clinics for the discussion of psychological problems of offenders and their care and treatment; recommends transfer, parole or discharge of offenders and recommends arrangements for follow-up and aftercare during parole; secures and trains assistants; plans, directs and evaluates their work, and takes or recommends appropriate action with respect to their work performance; prepares reports and does research on problems of adult criminality; maintains order and supervises the conduct of persons committed to the California Department of Corrections; prevents escapes and injury by these persons to themselves, others or to property; maintains security of working areas and work materials; inspects premises and searches inmates for contraband, such as weapons or illegal drugs.

Minimum Qualifications

Possession of a valid license as a Psychologist issued by the California Board of Psychology and possession of an earned Doctorate Degree in Psychology from an educational institution meeting the criteria of Section 2914 of the Medical Board of California's Business and Professions Code. and Either I At least two years' experience as a licensed Psychologist in the Department of Corrections.



At least three years' experience as a licensed Psychologist in a forensic setting such as a local jail or community-based forensic treatment unit.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Psychological theories and research; principles, techniques and problems in developing and coordinating a specialized psychological treatment program; principles, techniques and trends in psychology with particular reference to normal and disordered behavior, human development, motivation, personality learning, individual differences, adaptation and social interaction; methods for the assessment and modification of human behavior; characteristics and social aspects of mental disorders and retardation; research methodology and program evaluation, institutional and social process, group dynamics; functions of psychologists in various mental health services; current trends in the field of mental health; professional training; community organization and allied professional services; State and Department's Affirmative Action Program objectives; a manager's role in the Affirmative Action Program and the processes available to meet affirmative action objectives; principles and techniques of effective supervision.


Ability to: Plan, organize, and work in a specialized psychological treatment program involving members of other treatment disciplines; provide professional consultation and program leadership; teach and participate in professional training; recognize situations requiring the creative application of technical skills; develop and evaluate creative approaches to the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of mental disorders to the conduct of research, and to the development and direction of a psychological program; plan, organize and conduct research, data analysis and program evaluation; conduct assessment and psychological treatment procedures; secure the cooperation of professional and lay groups; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; communicate effectively; plan, organize and direct the work of others; effectively contribute to the Department's affirmative action objectives.

Special Personal Characteristics

Empathetic understanding of patients of a State correctional facility; willingness to work in a correctional facility; emotional stability; patience; scientific and professional integrity; alertness; tact; and demonstrated leadership ability; and keenness of observation.

Special Physical Characteristics

Persons appointed to this position must be reasonably expected to have and maintain sufficient strength, agility and endurance to perform during stressful (physical, mental and emotional) situations encountered on the job without compromising their health and well-being or that of their fellow employees or that of inmates.


Assignments may include sole responsibility for the supervision of inmates and/or the protection of personal and real property.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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