Psychologist tells parole board Charles Bronson would need support as he's never used a cash machine
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A psychologist at the public parole hearing of Charles Bronson has outlined some of the challenges that he’d face if he was to gain his freedom, including the fact that he’s never used a cash machine before.
Bronson is currently on the second day of a three-day hearing, during which he has appeared via video-link to the Royal Courts of Justice in London, with the hearing taking place at HMP Woodhill - where he is currently serving a discretionary life sentence.
He has been incarcerated for nearly 50 years and almost the entirety of his adult life, so naturally questions have been asked about whether the 70-year-old would be able to cope on the outside after so long inside.
Much of that time has been spent in solitary confinement and under conditions where Bronson only sees a select few other people on a regular basis.
The psychologist said that Bronson - who changed his name to Charles Salvador in 2014 - had been in ‘very solitary conditions for a very long time’ and stated that a move out of his close supervision unit is – in her opinion - ‘long overdue’.
She also told the hearing that she believes his history of violence whilst in prison stems from a rejection for authority which does not – she said – extend to members of the public.
Bronson has been involved in many violent incidents during his time in prison, which have included attacks on prison staff, hostage taking, and assault of other prisoners.
The psychologist said: “His use of violence towards staff members has been almost a matter of survival.
“He’s got that real level of dislike for authority figures.
“I don’t think he has that for members of the public.”
If he was to be released, the world in which he would emerge into might be almost completely unrecognisable to him.
Giving her opinion, the psychologist mentioned that he has never used a cash machine and would require practical support if he were released.
She said that Bronson had done ‘pretty well’ in sitting through the parole hearing, adding: “We’re expecting too much if we expect Mr Salvador to sit in a situation like this and not become frustrated and not become loud, belligerent and swear.
“In the past, he would not have been able to tolerate this at all without some sort of outburst.
“Mr Salvador is going to be rude to people on occasion...he is going to swear at people on occasion.”
The professional, who is an independent psychologist employed by Bronson’s legal team, said that she believes that he now finds the same cathartic release through his art that he used to get from violence.
“He found violence cathartic in the past,” she said.
“I think now what he does is he tends to weigh up the pros and cons of violence to himself, that is an effective strategy.”
He now realises – she said – the consequences of violent behaviour.
She concluded that Bronson should be moved to more open conditions in order to allow for more interaction with people, instead of the three other inmates – one of which he dislikes and avoids – that he currently interacts with.
“I believe that Mr Salvador poses less of a risk in a community environment than in a prison environment, and I stand by that assessment,” she added.
“Of course, I’m talking about a highly supportive community environment and I’m talking about a gradual move into a community environment.”
The hearing continues.