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Enhancing correctional facility safety: Best practices for temporary holding compatibility and PREA compliance

Managing incoming offenders can present distinct challenges


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Understanding and managing incoming offenders is a significant challenge for corrections facilities. This article will provide insight into creating the safest environment possible for offenders and staff alike. We will review best practices for temporary holding compatibility and PREA (Prison Rape Elimination Act) compliance, while also learning how to optimally utilize available tools to acquire crucial information about offenders being transferred to your facility.

Best practices for a safe holding environment

Adopting necessary precautions and adhering to best practices for temporary holding compatibility and PREA compliance is crucial for ensuring the safety of both offenders and staff in your facility. This involves thorough research to gather comprehensive information on incoming offenders, preparing the appropriate paperwork and presenting them with PREA policies upon arrival.

Additionally, it is important to monitor them while in the holding cell and ask pertinent questions in line with PREA standards to ascertain whether they are vulnerable or predatory. By implementing these measures, you can minimize the likelihood of PREA violations and other incidents within your facility.

Exploring challenges when dealing with incoming offenders

Managing incoming offenders can present distinct challenges. in the case of new offenders, vital information that would aid in making informed decisions about their initial housing assignment – such as gang affiliation, potential violent behaviors, or any vulnerabilities – may not be readily available.

Moreover, acquiring detailed information from other facilities where they were previously incarcerated can be challenging, especially if they are from different states. This scarcity of information can complicate the decision-making process for their housing assignment, classification and unit placement.

Therefore, it’s essential to leverage all available resources to gather an accurate profile of an incoming offender, ensuring safe temporary holding compatibility and adherence to PREA compliance standards.

Tips and tricks for uncovering vital information on offenders

Given the array of tools available to compile critical data on offenders, it’s crucial to use them efficiently and effectively.

These tools include Offender Management Information System (OMIS), emails from Department of Corrections (DOC) entities, certified judgments, Verification of Commitment (VOC), Pre-Sentence Investigation (PSI) reports, disciplinary reports and incident reports, each providing valuable insights.

Don’t overlook the internet either – it can serve as an invaluable resource.

By combining these resources and leveraging them to their fullest potential, you can ensure your facility is compliant with PREA and that all temporary holding meets the necessary criteria.

How a facility uncovered vital information on a dangerous offender

Having comprehensive information available when managing offenders transferring to your facility is essential. To illustrate the importance of this, let’s consider an example where a facility successfully uncovered vital information about a particular dangerous offender. The case in point comes from Montana State Prison (MSP), located in Deer Lodge, Montana.

Montana State Prison (MSP) received a notice from another state, through an interstate compact, about an incoming offender, accompanied by an information packet from the originating state. On conducting further online research, MSP discovered that the offender was a serial killer who had instigated a riot at a different state facility, during which staff and other inmates were injured and officers were assaulted.

As a result, additional precautions could be implemented prior to his arrival, which would have been impossible without the supplementary research. This instance underscores the importance of having comprehensive information when managing new or transferring offenders.

The approach adopted by MSP was instrumental in guaranteeing the safety of both staff and offenders by revealing crucial information that might otherwise have been overlooked. Maximizing the use of all available resources is key to cultivating a secure environment for everyone involved.

Final thoughts

Ensuring temporary holding compatibility and PREA compliance is critical in establishing a safe environment within your facility. Given the challenges involved in obtaining necessary information on incoming offenders, it’s vital to make full use of all available tools, such as the Offender Management Information System (OMIS) and correspondence from other Department of Corrections (DOC) entities.

Aaron Meaders is a seasoned correctional professional with close to nine years of experience under his belt. He worked within the criminal justice system at Montana State Prison, Located in Deer Lodge, Montana. His tenure began as a correctional officer for the first three and a half years, after which he acted as a mental health tech for the rest of his time in corrections. Aaron demonstrated a strong passion for helping others and once held the position of Local President for FMSPE Local President for FMSPE Local #4700 during his final two years in corrections. He cherishes moments spent with family and friends in his downtime, engages in freelance writing and pursues new knowledge.