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NCJ Number: 141462 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Objective Classification in the Maricopa County Jail System
Journal: Large Jail Network Bulletin  Volume:2  Issue:3  Dated:(March 1991)  Pages:7-9
Author(s): M E Sheppard
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Program Description (Model)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Maricopa County Jail System, through the use of an objective classification system, assesses an inmate's social ties, drug and alcohol use, current charge, criminal history, and institutional behavior to provide reliable information upon which custody levels, housing, program needs, and eligibility are all determined.
Abstract: With the assistance of consultants provided by the National Institute of Corrections, in 1985 the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office again revised its inmate classification system after failing to provide an adequate system two previous times. The new system was designed to fit the guidelines of an objective classification process. First, the classification instrument provided for consistent decisions among staff and the implementation of these decisions. Second, the system could be supported fully by available resources. Finally, the procedures resulted in fair and valid decisions that achieved the legitimate goals for which they were designed. The first criterion was met by involving all components of the organization in the developmental stage. Borrowing from the original additive point system and using accepted risk factors, the staff developed a new format that was tested on 200 inmates to determine its impact on resources. The classification was statistically validated in 1987. Factors that did not contribute to the overall assessment of risk were removed. Other factors were reweighed. The system has returned control of the jail to its administrators, as inmates are managed according to their actual security needs. The system has also formed the basis for budget decisions, staffing deployment, implementation of alternatives to incarceration, and the planning and design of future jails.
Main Term(s): Inmate classification
Index Term(s): Arizona; Corrections internal security; Inmate personal security; Treatment offender matching
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