BOC APPROVES Mandatory 45-day Reviews & Daily Mental Health Rounds in Solitary

16 Dec BOC APPROVES Mandatory 45-day Reviews & Daily Mental Health Rounds in Solitary

45 Day Reviews and Mental Health Rounds in Punitive Segregation

Standard § 1-17 (d)(5) requires for any other inmate serving 45 consecutive days of punitive segregation that a review identical to that in Standard § 1-17 (d)(4)(iii) shall be conducted with the same written determination and notice to all.

Standard § 1-17 (d)(6) requires that daily mental health rounds will be provided to all inmates serving more than 30 consecutive days in punitive segregation or more than 60 days in a 6 month period. Rounds must be documented in writing. Beginning on August 1, 2016, such inmates shall be offered “cognitive behavioral therapy or a similar evidence-based intervention aimed at addressing the root causes of the behavior that led to the inmates’ extended stays in punitive segregation.” The Correctional Health Authority is charged with developing the programming.

Punitive Segregation

In addition to the amendments aimed at reducing contraband, other changes allow the Department to sentence inmates infracted and sentenced for a serious assault on staff – i.e., those resulting in serious injury – to receive a higher maximum sentence in punitive segregation than is allowed for other infractions. The changes provide that an inmate infracted for committing a serious assault on staff may be sentenced to up to 60 days in punitive segregation for that single infraction. When an inmate is serving such a sentence, the changes provide that the Department need not release the inmate from punitive segregation for 7 days after the inmate has served 30 consecutive days in punitive segregation, which is required for all other punitive segregation sentences. However, any sentences for serious assaults on staff that exceed 30 days must be approved by the Chief of Department or a designee. Additionally, the Chief of Department or a designee must complete a review 45 days after commencement of the sentence to determine whether the inmate could safely be placed in an available alternative housing unit for the remainder of the sentence.

The changes to the punitive segregation section additionally clarify the meaning of the 60-day limit on punitive segregation within any 6-month period and impose additional reporting requirements when an inmate is held beyond the 60-day limit. Finally, the revisions require the Department to provide the Board with a report detailing the Department’s efforts to reduce violence without resorting to increasing the time inmates spend in punitive segregation housing.