Fifth Judicial District - Department of Correctional Services

DISTRICT POLICIES

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TITLE: Disciplinary Process

POLICY

Due process safeguards shall be afforded to residents whenever disciplinary sanctions have been imposed. Both staff and residents shall be required to adhere to the procedures established by the District for disciplinary proceedings. In the course of disciplinary proceedings, District staff may consider documentary evidence or testimony which, because of its confidential nature, will not be reviewed in the presence of the resident.

PROCEDURE

  1. General Provisions
    1. Immediately following staff detection of any infraction of program rules, the reporting staff member shall determine if the violation is a series 300, 200 or 100 violation (Refer to Resident Hand-book).
    2. In all cases when disciplinary action is handed out, the resident shall be informed of the rule violation and reasons for the action initiated.
    3. The Assistant Director of Residential Services is responsible for ensuring that all disciplinary procedures are closely adhered to by staff.
    4. All disciplining action (probation) will be reviewed by a Supervisor.
    5. Refer to the Federal Statement of Work for Federal disciplinary procedures.
  2. Violations
    1. Series 300 (Low) Violations (all residents)
      1. Series 300 violations (Refer to Resident Handbook) may result in twenty-four (24) hours room restriction or loss of privileges, up to six (6) hours loss of furlough hours or extra work details or other appropriate sanctions. Work Release sanctions may include up to 48 hours loss of furlough privileges.
      2. Reporting staff will impose the sanction, advise other staff members of the minor violations and sanctions as soon as possible, and will document the violation on a disciplinary report form.
    2. Medium/Major Violations (Work Release and OWI)
      1. For all medium and major violations (refer to Resident Handbook) a discipline hearing shall be held.
      2. Reporting Violations - The reporting staff member will complete Section I of the Disciplinary Report Form immediately and submit it to the Residential Supervisor. The Disciplinary Report shall contain the following information, if known:
        1. The date(s) and time(s) the incident allegedly occurred.
        2. Name and number of residents involved.
        3. Location(s) where incident allegedly occurred.
        4. Specific rule(s) or law(s) violated.
        5. A complete description of the incident (providing a summary of all pertinent details) which should include a factual account, including who, what, when, where and how.
        6. An indication of whether confidential information was involved.
        7. The name(s), if available, of any witnesses to the incident.
        8. The disposition of any evidence involved (chain of evidence when the evidence is being held, etc.)
        9. The signature of the reporting staff member.
    3. Moderate/High Violations (Probation)
      1. Series 200 (Moderate) Violations (Probation)
        1. Series 200 Violations (see Classification Section of Violations Section) may result in twenty-four (24) hours room restriction, loss of privileges, up to twelve (12) hours loss of furlough hours or other appropriate sanctions (see classification of violation sections).
        2. Reporting staff will impose the sanctions, will advise other staff members of the medium violation and sanction as soon as possible, and will document the violation on a Disciplinary Report Form.
      2. Series 100 (High) Violations (probation)
        1. Series 100 violations will result in a resident being placed on twenty-four (24) hours room restriction and a Disciplinary Investigation Report being written. The resident will also be put on building restriction and remain on that status until the discipline committee completes the hearing. If building restriction is part of the sanction, credit for time served will be counted towards the total issued by the committee.
        2. Reporting staff will advise other staff members of the major violation as soon as possible and will document the incident, including the facts and circumstances, on a Disciplinary Investigative Disciplinary Report, and log the violation.
  3. Investigations
    1. Investigation of Violations (Work Release and OWI)
      1. Investigations are to be made as soon as possible after the disciplinary notice has been served and are to be performed by a staff member not involved in the reporting violation.
      2. The investigator shall interview and document the following in Section IV (Staff Investigation) of the Disciplinary Report Form:
        1. Notice of the right to remain silent, if applicable.
        2. The resident's version of the alleged violation(s).
        3. Statement(s) from pertinent witnesses requested by the resident.
      3. The disciplinary report may be considered as the witness' statement of the reporting staff member.
  4. Resident Entitlement for Hearing (Work Release and OWI)
    1. Advance Notice. Such notice shall be given to the resident in writing, at least twenty-four hours (24) prior to the hearing, specifying the rule(s) violated, including a statement regarding the date(s) and circumstances of the violation. The resident may waive, in writing, the mandatory twenty-four (24) hour notice.
      1. Such notice is acknowledged when the resident and staff member have signed Section II of the Disciplinary Report Form and the resident has been provided with a copy of Section I (Description) and Section II (Notice).
      2. For residents who have not been notified within twenty-four (24) hours because of their absence, such notice shall be given within twenty-four (24) hours of staff knowledge of the resident's return to local custody.
    2. Witness Evidence - Witness(es) able to provide pertinent testimony shall be allowed, subject to the following conditions:
      1. The resident is responsible for making arrangements for their witness' appearance. However, staff shall assist incarcerated residents, upon request, in contacting potential witnesses.
      2. Verified witness statements may be substituted in lieu of a witness' presence.
      3. The disciplinary committee may interview witnesses or consider witness' statements, in private, prior to or during the disciplinary hearing.
      4. Residents have no rights to confrontation or cross examination of adverse witnesses.
      5. Character witnesses shall not be allowed.
      6. The disciplinary committee may refuse to interview any witness due to irrelevancy, redundancy, or where disruption of the hearing is anticipated.
    3. Resident Assistance - Residents will not be allowed legal counsel at the disciplinary hearing, but may be allowed assistance from designated staff at the discretion of the disciplinary committee. Such assistance is appropriate when residents are unable to adequately represent themselves (language barrier, speech problems, mental difficulties, etc.).
    4. Impartial Hearing - All residents are entitled to an impartial hearing to ensure basic fairness. Therefore, staff who either witnessed or investigated the incident shall not conduct the hearing.
    5. Hearing Report - The resident is entitled to a written statement of evidence relied upon and the reason(s) for the action taken.
    6. Criminal Prosecution - If criminal prosecution is being considered, the resident must be advised of the right to remain silent and that anything said can be used in further criminal proceedings. In the event the resident wishes to remain silent, the disciplinary committee may draw an adverse inference from such silence.
  5. Discipline Hearing
    1. The resident shall remain on facility restriction through the conclusion of the hearing.
    2. Disciplinary hearings cannot be waived. Residents may waive their right to be present at the hearing. If the resident refuses to appear at the hearing or becomes disruptive during the hearing, the resident shall forfeit all rights and opportunities provided in this policy and may be subject to further disciplinary action.
    3. Time Frames for Completion
      1. The hearing shall take place within seven (7) days after the resident has been notified of the report, unless the hearing is continued.
      2. The hearing may be continued for good cause (further investigation required, resident's request, etc.), providing the resident is advised of the reason(s) for the continuance within the seven (7) day limitation. If continued, the reason(s) shall be documented in Section V (Disciplinary Hearing and Decision - Work Release and OWI for facts and findings section of the Discipline Hearing Review Committee form (probation).
    4. Staff Representation
      1. The Assistant Director of Residential Services or designee, and one (1) or two (2) other staff members not involved with the alleged violations(s) or investigation, shall serve on the hearing committee.
    5. Decision
      1. The decision making process for a discipline hearing shall include the following:
        1. Determine if previous due process standards have been followed (Notice, Allegations, Hearing Notice, etc.). If not, remand to appropriate staff member to correct defect.
        2. Document in Section V, (Work Release and OWI) the location, persons present and the time the hearing started.
        3. Do not review confidential information with the resident (refer to policy regarding Confidential Information).
        4. Inform the resident of the allegations(s), citing the rule(s) involved.
        5. Review all available evidence including the description, staff investigation, resident and witness' statements, and documentary evidence with the resident (if not confidential) and advise the resident of their right to remain silent, when applicable.
        6. Interview requested witnesses. If the interview is refused, document the reason(s) for such refusal in Section V (Work Release and OWI).
        7. Make a brief summary of the resident's statement, if any, to the disciplinary committee.
        8. Excuse the resident and determine guilt or innocence of all alleged violations.
        9. Document, in Section V (Work Release and OWI) the time the hearing ended.
      2. Work Release and OWI Sanctions
        1. Determine the number of violations and type of each violation and document them in Section V of the Disciplinary Report Form (Disciplinary Hearing and Decision Section).
        2. For each major violation, write "loss of good time" in Section V of the Disciplinary Report Form (Sanctions Imposed) except:
          1. Where violent or extreme or willful actions may be indicated, contact the Community Placement Office Registrar one (1) day prior to the hearing in order to determine the number of prior time loss violations. Time loss recommendations shall be made accordingly.
          2. Where escape has been determined, write "loss of all possible good time up to one (1) year" in Section V of the Disciplinary Report Form and request suspension of the Honor Contract.
          3. The Community Placement Office will provide the resident written notification regarding the amount of good time actually taken.
          4. The Assistant Director of Residential Services shall ensure that resident(s) who have been removed from the Honor Roll (and remain in the community) are reviewed every thirty (30) days until reinstated. Although Work Release residents need not be present during this interview, they shall receive a summary of the review in writing.
    6. Resident Notification of Decision
      1. Immediately following the disciplinary decision, the resident shall be advised verbally of the decision, the evidence relied on, and then reason(s) for the action taken (excluding confidential information).
      2. As soon as possible after the hearing, the resident shall be provided a written statement (Hearing Decision, Section V) (Work Release) or a copy of the Disciplinary Committee Hearing Review Form including:
        1. A statement of facts found to support the determination of rule violation(s) (the who, what, where, and how of the offense).
        2. The evidence/testimony on which the findings are based (staff report, resident's statement, (etc.).
        3. The sanction(s) imposed.
        4. The committee's comments as to the reason(s) for the sanction(s) imposed (optional).
      3. Appeal Notification - At the close of the Disciplinary Hearing, the resident shall be advised of the right to appeal the decision of the disciplinary committee.
        1. Residents may file an appeal within twenty-four (24) hours of any decision or action (discipline related) with which they disagree.
        2. Appeals must be submitted in writing by the offender on the required form.
        3. Appeals must be submitted within the time frames identified above.
        4. Appeals must state what action is being appealed, the grounds for the appeal and remedial action requested.
        5. An appeal shall be responded to within three (3) days from the time it is assigned.
  6. Discipline Review (Probation)
    1. A Residential Supervisor will review all disciplines to ensure accuracy and determine if the disciplinary action is appropriate to the violation.
      1. Disciplinary sanctions can be reduced if the circumstances warrant such action. The disciplinary sanction(s) will remain as written if they are relative to the violation.
      2. In the event of multiple violations or repeat violations, the review committee may explore alternative treatment approaches, alternative placement or removal from the program.
      3. During the review process other staff may be consulted.
      4. This process does not supersede the appeal process.
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