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Preparation Prison Life After

05. Prison Designation

Management Variable

Even after assessing the Security Level and Public Safety Factor, the DSCC provides another level of review to make sure that an inmate is being designated to the correct facility.  This may or may not affect the security level but has a direct affect on where the inmate will serve her sentence.  This last assessment is a Management Variable and it is required when placement has been made to an institution level inconsistent with the inmate’s scored security level.  It may be inconsistent for a number of reasons and those are explored here.  Application of a Management Variable requires review and approval by the DSCC Administrator.   The Management Security Level (MSL) takes precedence over the security level reflected in SENTRY which is based upon the scored security level and the application of Public Safety Factors.

Following are the codes used for Management Variable.

A None. No Management Variables apply. Institution staff are permitted to enter this item.

B Judicial Recommendation. At the Sentencing, the defendant should have asked the judge for a recommended facility and it will be noted in the Statement of Reasons documentation provided by the Court.

D Release Residence. The Bureau of Prisons attempts to place each inmate in an institution that is reasonably close (500 miles) from to the anticipated release area.  This is usually the defendant’s home address.

E Population Management. In some cases the facility designated may not be available due to overpopulation at a particular prison, or inmates are needed at a facility that is underpopulated.

G Central Inmate Monitoring Assignment. Pursuant to the CIM Program Statement, some inmates, for specified reasons, need to be monitored or separated from others.  This can be the case when co-defendants are headed to prison or a person who has cooperated against another inmate.  This even applies to minimum security camps.

I Medical or Psychiatric. An inmate has psychiatric or medical needs greater than those available at most federal prisons, then a designation to a medical facility may be appropriate.

N Program Participation. Occasionally, inmates become involved in specialized programs which are only available on a limited basis, or at specific institutions, like the Residential Drug and Alcohol Abuse Program (RDAP).  

R Work Cadre. At secure facilities without satellite camps, the Regional Director may authorize a certain number of work cadre inmates to perform work outside the perimeter of the institution. The DSCC will apply the Management Variable upon request of the institution.

S PSF Waived. An inmate may receive up to three Public Safety Factors (PSFs). PSFs may be waived after review and approval by the DSCC Administrator.

U Long-term Detainee. Long-term detainees are given an initial custody and security level.

V Greater Security. There may be security concerns which are not adequately reflected in the classification scheme.

W Lesser Security. Like V above, there may be security concerns which are not adequately reflected in the classification scheme. In circumstances where an inmate represents a lesser security risk than the assigned security level, the inmate may be placed in an institution outside normal guidelines.  One example would be age.

Included in these Management Variables, are institutions that may limit where your time can be served.  Consider the following:

If you are a woman, there are only 27 federal prison facilities in the U.S. that accommodate female inmates.

There are also a limited number of prisons that offer the Residential Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program (RDAP).

The Medical Classification system is to identify inmate health care needs and assign inmates to facilities with appropriate medical capabilities.  The BOP uses an extensive evaluation method to determine the if a designation to a medical facility is required and we have provided, as a guide, that document used by the BOP to determine medical classifications for designation.  Similar to the Security and Custody Classification system, a score is created for each inmate based on their need for medical care at the time of initial designation. A score for healthcare needs is calculated for each new inmate based on medical and mental health information from the PSR. The BOP assigns CARE Level classifications to all inmates and federal facilities that are designed to match prisoners’ health with institutional and community resources.  There are four (4) levels identified by the BOP for inmate health:

Level 1 (Healthy / Simple Care) - Inmates that are generally in good health but may be on some medications and need clinical evaluations every six months.  Things like Type 2 Diabetes, which can be controlled with diet or mild asthma.

Level 2 (Stable Chronic Care) - Stable outpatients that have chronic illnesses which may affect their level of functioning (e.g. their physical or mental health conditions may affect their ability to perform certain jobs), but they are independent in activities of daily living.  Medical or mental health conditions require at least quarterly clinician evaluations.

Level 3 (Unstable, Complex Chronic Care) - Inmates are medically complex outpatients that require at least monthly clinician evaluations and may have limitations in their ability to perform activities of daily living, but do not require daily nursing care. Mental health inmates in thie classification require at least quarterly evaluation by a psychiatrist.

Level 4 (Medical Referral Centers) - Inmates with severe conditions that require 24-hour monitoring and nurses care.  These include treatments for cancer, severe trauma injuries, stroke, dialysis).  There are only seven (7) Level 1 Health Care facilities, known as Federal Medical Centers, in the country.

Federal Medical Centers (FMCs) are medical facilities operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons for inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical or mental health care, classified as Care Level 4.  There are only seven (7) FMC’s in the country:

  1. Federal Medical Center, Devens - Devens, MA
  2. Federal Medical Center, Rochester - Rochester, MN
  3. Federal Medical Center, Lexington - Lexington, KY
  4. Federal Medical Center, Carswell - Forth Worth, TX
  5. Federal Medical Center, Butner - Butner, NC
  6. Federal Medical Center, Rochester - Rochester, MN
  7. U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield - Springfield, MO

When a newly sentenced inmate’s PSR suggests a need for medical or mental health needs above that available at a Level 1 or 2 facility, the DSCC refers the designation to the Bureau’s Medical Designator to determine a final facility.  If the BOP requires further examination of the inmate, it may designate the inmate to a Medical Referral Center for an assessment before a final designation is made.  Health concerns of an inmate can mean incarceration at a higher level facility than that first envisioned by an inmate.