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Three Key Considerations In Inmate Classification

By: Joe Robbins, equivant Corrections’ Product Implementation Specialist

Inmate classification is a crucial process within all correctional facilities.  It involves evaluating several data elements to establish the objective custody level, appropriate housing assignment, and individualized programming for inmates. Here are three key considerations involved in the inmate classification process:

Security Level:

Assessing the security risk each inmate presents is essential for determining the appropriate level of supervision and housing. The nature of the offense, criminal history, history of violence, and behavior within the facility are evaluated to determine whether an inmate should be housed in a maximum, medium, or minimum-security unit.

Behavioral Assessment/Legal Status Monitoring

Observing inmate behavior and compliance with jail rules is critical for maintaining safety and security within the jail. Inmates who demonstrate a willingness to participate in programming, follow rules, and engage in positive behavior may be eligible for incentives such as privileges, early release, or placement in less restrictive housing. Conversely, inmates who exhibit disruptive or violent behavior may face disciplinary action or placement in more secure housing units.

Needs Assessment:

Evaluating the needs of each inmate is vital for providing necessary support and programming to facilitate rehabilitation and reduce the risk of recidivism. Factors such as mental health, substance abuse history, educational level, vocational skills, and social support networks are considered. Inmates with specific needs may require access to mental health treatment, substance abuse counseling, educational programs, vocational training, or other interventions to address their individual challenges.

By carefully considering inmates’ security levels, compliance level, and needs, correctional authorities can effectively classify, house, and manage their inmate population. Strategic classification also allows for a controlled environment where inmates can be supervised, receive necessary medical care, and have access to programs aimed at rehabilitation and reducing recidivism. What is your facility currently using to classify inmates? Is it enhancing safety and saving time? If not, let’s set up a time to talk. 

equivant Corrections Insights