Northpointe Seal


The Difference Between Security and Management Levels for Classification

By: Greg Eash, CEO, equivant Corrections

In the context of inmate classification, distinguishing between security levels and management levels is crucial for effectively overseeing correctional facilities. Below are three aspects that highlight the differences between these two classification criteria:

  1. Security Levels:
    • Security levels primarily focus on the level of supervision and control needed for inmates based on their potential risk to themselves, other inmates, or staff. These levels also incorporate their likelihood of escape.
    • Inmates are typically classified into different security levels, such as maximum security, medium security, and minimum security, based on factors like the seriousness of their offense, criminal history, behavior in custody, and risk assessment scores.
    • Facilities with higher security levels have stricter controls, including more extensive physical barriers, surveillance, and staff-to-inmate ratios, to prevent incidents such as violence, escapes, or contraband smuggling.
  2. Management Levels:
    • Management levels, on the other hand, consider an inmate’s specific needs, programming requirements, and behavior management strategies rather than solely focusing on security concerns.
    • Inmates may be classified into different management levels, such as close management, general population, or protective custody, based on factors like their mental health status, disciplinary history, gang affiliations, or vulnerability to victimization.
    • Facilities with different management levels provide tailored programming, services, and housing arrangements to address the diverse needs of inmates, ensuring appropriate supervision and support for rehabilitation efforts.
  3. Integration and Alignment:
    • While security levels and management levels serve distinct purposes, they are often interconnected in practice. For example, a high-security inmate may also require close management due to behavioral issues or mental health concerns, necessitating a specialized housing unit within a maximum-security facility.
    • Correctional administrators must strike a balance between security and management considerations, ensuring that the classification system effectively addresses both safety concerns and inmates’ rehabilitative needs while promoting operational efficiency, safety, and resource allocation.

By understanding the distinctions between security levels and management levels in inmate classification, correctional agencies can develop comprehensive classification systems that enhance safety, security, and the successful reintegration of offenders into society. For an audit of your classification system, including security and management levels, please contact us.

equivant Corrections Insights