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New York Prison & Jail Visitation, Phones, Packages & Mail Topics / Information relating to the New York Department of Corrections and local / county Jail visitation, phone calls, mail, inmate care packages, etc.

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Old 04-21-2013, 06:53 AM
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Default Factors in Security Classification (Max, MediuM)

the following is the best explanation i have found of the process to assign new prisoners a secuirty classification once they get to reception.

New York’s Classification Guidelines
In New York, new prisoners are assigned an initial classification score at a reception facility.
Reclassification hearings occur periodically. In New York State, the initial reclassification screening occurs
six months after a prisoner is taken into custody; subsequent reclassifications take place every three months
after that.
12 The counselor assigning the classification enters numerical factors into a computer program,
which then calculates a score. The information used to determine the factor values comes from evidence
presented in the Commitment Paper, the Pre-sentence Report (“PSR”), warrants, the Division of Criminal
Justice Services (“DCJS”) Summary Case History (“Rap Sheet”), sentencing minutes (when available), your
interview, and, if you have served a prior DOCS term, any available Department records of that term.
13 Both
official and unofficial documents may be relied upon, though evidence from unofficial documents “should be
evaluated in relation to official documents and used where appropriate.”
14 If a counselor cannot resolve
inconsistencies between documents, the counselor is supposed to use the “most cautious alternative.”
15


New York’s Security Classification Guidelines identify two types of security risks: (1) public risk, which
is the likelihood that a prisoner will escape and be a danger to the public; and (2) institutional risk, which is
the likelihood that a prisoner will be dangerous to staff, other prisoners, or himself while incarcerated. The
Guidelines use four main factors to determine public risk: (1) history of criminal violence; (2) history of
escape and abscondence (hiding to avoid legal proceedings); (3) time until earliest possible release; and (4)
family, employment, school, and military history.
16 The Guidelines identify two main factors that determine
institutional risk: (1) family, employment, school, and military history; and (2) institutional disciplinary
history.
17


These characteristics are all evaluated by point scores. The point scores are then combined to produce
your security classification. More specific descriptions of each of the characteristics can be found in the State

of New York DOCS Classification Manual. The Classification Manual also describes the procedures used for
assigning point values and the way in which a score is calculated from these values.
18


In addition to these main characteristics, you should know that that there are thirty-five additional
characteristics that are difficult to assign point values to, or that aren’t used very often. These additional
characteristics can affect the classification you receive and may qualify you for a higher classification level,
even if you a receive point total that might alone produce a lower classification.
19


You should also be aware that the characteristics for male and female prisoners may have different
elements.
20 Male and female prisoners’ scores are evaluated against different classification schemes. The
elements for minor and adult prisoners may also differ. Finally, there are some cases in which the counselor
will feel that the point score does not accurately represent your security risk, and he is permitted to adjust
the security classification, although he must provide an explanation for doing so.
21 Most other state prison
systems have similar provisions that let a counselor or other official assign you a security classification that
differs from the one produced from the scoring system.
22

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