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Classification. Current Issues and Concerns. Issues Prompting Classification Assessments/Requests for Assistance. We have a high rate of subjective overrides of the scored custody level. How high is too high?

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Classification

Classification

Current Issues and Concerns


Issues prompting classification assessments requests for assistance
Issues Prompting Classification Assessments/Requests for Assistance

  • We have a high rate of subjective overrides of the scored custody level. How high is too high?

  • My classification system is outdated. It has not been updated since it was originally implemented.

  • How do we link custody, program needs, and institutional housing assignments?

  • Reclassifications – how frequently? Event or time-driven?

  • Are our criteria for classifying inmates to minimum security too restrictive?


Issues prompting classification assessments requests for assistance1
Issues Prompting Classification Assessments/Requests for Assistance

  • How do we strike a better balance between reintegration and public safety when identifying and supervising inmates for work assignments outside of minimum-security facilities?

  • Which is better a centralized versus decentralized classification process?

  • Is the classification system valid?

  • Should we create a gender-specific classification system?

  • Is the classification system reliable?

  • Does our classification system meet national and regional standards?


Classification system process problems observed
Classification System AssistanceProcess: Problems Observed

  • Reliability/Subjectivity:

    • Scoring relies on prisoner self-reported or incomplete information;

    • Categories within the risk factors are vague, leaving extensive leeway for interpretation by the scorer;

    • Lack of training; and/or

    • Outdated or No classification handbook for case management staff.

  • Discretionary Overrides -- Too many, Not enough, wrong reasons


Classification system process problems observed1
Classification System AssistanceProcess: Problems Observed

  • Mandatory Restrictors --

    • Too Many and/or Not clearly articulated

  • Numerous Redundant Assessments or Meetings.

  • Absence of Systematic Audit and Monitoring Processes.

  • Outdated – has not been updated for 15-20 years.

  • Not gender-specific, original system based on male population.


  • Classification process suggestions
    Classification Process: Suggestions Assistance

    • Own Your Classification System:

      • Review and Update P&P to reflect current/desired process; and

      • Articulate value and commitment to case management staff.

    • Reliability and Subjectivity – No Reliability = No Validity:

      • Conduct assessment of intra-rater reliability – Is your classification system facility/user specific?

      • Reliability study results direct training and rewrites of the classification manual.

      • Training:

        • Comprehensive training when roll out major changes;

          • Everyone needs to hear the same instruction and questions; &

        • On-going service – cross-facility to ensure all on the same page.


    Classification process suggestions1
    Classification Process: Suggestions Assistance

    • Audit Process – Annual review of accuracy of a random sample custody assessments. Assess:

      • Risk factor scoring;

      • Use of the mandatory restrictors and discretionary overrides;

      • Timeliness of the custody assessments; and

      • Documentation of deliberations and decisions.


    Classification process suggestions2
    Classification Process: Suggestions Assistance

    • Monitoring Process –

      • Periodic observation of the classification processes;

      • Statistical reports to track use of mandatory and discretionary overrides and custody distributions by assessment type by gender;

      • Log indicating custody assessments due/overdue by unit/CM;

      • Log of Time required from due date/admission to classification; and

      • Build Accuracy and Timeliness into case managers’ performance reviews.


    Classification process suggestions3
    Classification Process: Suggestions Assistance

    • Discretionary Overrides:

      • Rule of Thumb = 5 - 15 % of custody assessment

      • Acceptable reasons – Escape threat, Management Problem, Good behavior, Severity of Current or Prior Convictions

      • Unacceptable reasons – Overcrowding, Program need

    • Mandatory Restrictors: Reflect Policy, but whose?

      • Analyses of number inmates/restrictor and rates of misconduct

      • Symptoms of Excessive use of Mandatory Restrictors:

        • Empty minimum/community beds;

        • Inmates lack access to programs; and/or

        • Competition for low risk inmates.



    Relationship between the custody assessments and the criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planning

    • The LSI-R, Compas, results from other tests and evaluations are not incorporated in the classification/case management processes to determine where the prisoner should be placed to facilitate program participation.

      • Staff indicate that the LSI-R/Compas are useful for case planning, but map between needs, programs, and custody is convoluted.

    • Absence/outdated listing of programs and services/facility.

    • No program services table that links specific programs to specific need levels.

    • Programs are in the wrong locations.

    • Programs limited to specific custody levels.


    Custody vs program suggestions
    Custody criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planningvs Program: Suggestions

    • Generate an Accurate Program Listing:

      • Load into information system/server

      • KEEP IT UP-TO-DATE

      • Link programs to need categories/levels

      • Automate prioritization/wait lists.

      • Number of slots by facility by custody

      • Show and Tell among CM/facilities so all will be familiar

    • Generate Profiles of Inmate Population by Custody by Gender

      • Scored NOT Final Custody level

      • Program needs – based on a standardized assessment

      • Mandatory Restrictions

      • Priority for Program

      • Current location


    Custody vs program suggestions1
    Custody criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planningvs Program: Suggestions

    • Move/Duplicate Programs according to Inmate Profiles/Risk

    • Modify programs according to inmate needs/profiles:

      • Shorten the program for inmates at lower custody levels

      • Change the mode of delivery or time(s) of day provided

      • Programs location should be driven by inmate needs/risk rather than staff or contractor preference

    • Examine why inmates refuse/dropout:

      • Is one group dominating the program/assignment?

      • Staff conflicts/style

      • Prefer work/need $$

      • Good-time

      • Location

      • Housing


    My classification system is criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planningoutdated. It has not been updated since it was originally developed/implemented.

    Is it Valid?

    Gender-Specific?


    Classification validation issues
    Classification Validation Issues criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planning

    Gender-Specific

    Over-ride Rate > 15%

    Time - > 5 yrs

    Closing Facility(s)

    Offender Pop – STG, # Violent, Women


    Custody criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planningLevels Poorly Differentiated Rates of Misconducts


    Rates criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planningof Misconduct Among Male Inmates by Scored Reclassification Custody Level


    Other issues
    Other Issues criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planning

    • Prison Rate Elimination Act Compliance

      • Two Type of Assessments:

        • Sexual Predators/Aggressive

        • Vulnerable Inmates

      • Gender-Specific

      • Re-Assessment – not just at initial classification/intake

      • KISS – Keep it Simple**

      • Pilot Test for your Populations!!

      • Housing Unit Assignment Plans


    Helpful resources
    Helpful Resources criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planning

    http://nicic/Library/Topic/440-prison-classification


    Go blue for pbms
    “GO BLUE FOR PBMS!” criminogenic needs assessment for programming and case planning

    Enter All Agency Characteristics,

    Enter All Facility Characteristics,

    Enter ALL Agency indicators, and

    Enter All Facility indicators.


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