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RULE §271.1Objective Classification Plan

(a) Each sheriff/operator shall develop and implement an objective classification plan approved by the Commission by January 1, 1997. The plan shall include principles, procedures, instruments and explanations for classification assessments, housing assignments, reassessments and inmate needs. Plans utilizing an approved objective classification system shall be submitted and approved by the Commission. The following principles and procedures shall be addressed:

  (1) inmates shall be classified and housed in the least restrictive housing available without jeopardizing staff, inmates or the public, utilizing risk factors which include any or all of the following:

    (A) current offense or conviction;

    (B) offense history;

    (C) escape history;

    (D) institutional disciplinary history;

    (E) prior convictions;

    (F) alcohol and/or drug abuse; and

    (G) stability factors.

  (2) classification criteria shall not include race, ethnicity or religious preference;

  (3) custody levels and special housing needs shall be assessed to include minimum, medium and maximum custody levels and the placement and release of inmates to and from special units including protective custody, administrative separation, disciplinary separation and mental and medical health housing including known pregnant inmates;

  (4) minimum and maximum custody level inmates shall be housed separately. All other custody level inmates should be housed separately. When under direct, visual supervision, inmates of different custody levels may simultaneously participate in work and program activities;

  (5) juveniles shall be separated by sight and sound from adults in accordance with the Family Code, §51.12;

  (6) female inmates shall be separated by sight and sound from male inmates. When under direct, visual and proximate supervision, males and females may simultaneously participate in work and program activities;

  (7) when housed together and separately from all other inmates, contracted TDCJ-ID and federal inmates may be classified solely by approved TDCJ-ID and federal classification policies and procedures, respectively. Housing units for contracted TDCJ-ID and federal inmates shall be approved by TDCJ-ID and federal officials, respectively, to ensure that the inmates' custody level does not exceed the construction security level of the assigned housing;

  (8) the following shall apply to prisoners in transit:

    (A) an inmate is a prisoner in transit if the agency charged with the custody of the inmate is transporting the inmate from one jail or detention facility to another jail or detention facility;

    (B) when housed together and separately from all other inmates, prisoners in transit transported by another agency may be temporarily housed in a facility if the transporting agency provides a written statement that the prisoners can be safely housed together;

    (C) when housed they shall be confined in maximum construction level housing;

    (D) females shall be separated by sight and sound from males;

    (E) observation shall be performed at least every 30 minutes;

    (F) they shall not be held in a facility for more than 48 consecutive hours;

    (G) the facility providing temporary housing is not required to check prisoners in transit against the Department of State Health Services' CCQ system to determine if the prisoner has previously received state mental healthcare; and

    (H) a transporting agency may include a private correctional company engaged in the transportation of prisoners;

  (9) persons assigned to a detoxification cell shall be transferred to a housing or holding area as soon as they can properly care for themselves;

  (10) the status of persons confined to a violent cell shall be reassessed and documented at least every 24 hours for continuance of status;

  (11) inmates who require protection or those who require separation to protect the safety and security of the facility may be housed in administrative separation. The status of inmates placed in administrative separation shall be reviewed and documented at least every 30 days for continuance of status. Inmates housed in administrative separation shall retain access to services and activities, unless the continuance of the services and activities would adversely affect the safety and security of the facility; and

  (12) single cells may be utilized for disciplinary or administrative separation. Inmates in administrative separation shall be provided access to a day room for at least one hour each day. Inmates in disciplinary separation shall be provided a shower every other day.

(b) The following classification procedures shall be conducted utilizing the approved classification instruments.

  (1) Intake Screening. To be completed immediately on all inmates admitted for purposes of identifying any medical, mental health or other special needs that require placing inmates in special housing units;

  (2) Initial Custody Assessment. To be completed on all newly admitted inmates prior to housing assignments to determine custody levels.

  (3) Custody Reassessment/Review. A custody reassessment shall be conducted within 30 - 90 days of the Initial Custody Assessment and immediately upon any disciplinary action and/or change in legal status which would affect classification. A documented classification review to determine the necessity for a complete reassessment shall be conducted every 30 - 90 days thereafter.

(c) A Needs Assessment Instrument may be used to assess the needs and qualifications of inmates for participation in vocational, educational, mental health, substance abuse and other treatment or work programs.

Source Note: The provisions of this §271.1 adopted to be effective December 27, 1995, 20 TexReg 10620; amended to be effective June 14, 1996, 21 TexReg 5004; amended to be effective December 22, 1999, 24 TexReg 11519; amended to be effective May 3, 2000, 25 TexReg 3795; amended to be effective May 1, 2008, 33 TexReg 3446; amended to be effective December 30, 2009, 34 TexReg 9482; amended to be effective January 1, 2014, 38 TexReg 9625

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