Through a cooperative agreement between BJA and Impact Justice

Prevention Planning - Issues - Supervision and monitoring in adult facilities

Supervision and monitoring in adult facilities

For adult facilities, Standard 115.13/115.113/115.213 does not include concrete staffing requirements nor does it require direct supervision. However, agencies must provide staffing that ensures adequate supervision, taking into consideration several factors in calculating adequate staffing levels and determining the need for video monitoring. Factors for prisons and jails include:

  • Generally accepted detention and correctional practices;
  • Any judicial findings of inadequacy;
  • Any findings of inadequacy from federal investigative agencies;
  • Any findings of inadequacy from internal or external oversight bodies;
  • All components of the facility’s physical plant (including ‘‘blind-spots’’ or areas where staff or inmates may be isolated);
  • The composition of the inmate/detainee/resident population (such as gender, age, security level, and length of time individuals reside in the facility);
  • The number and placement of supervisory staff;
  • Institution programs occurring on a particular shift;
  • Any applicable state or local laws, regulations, or standards;
  • The prevalence of substantiated and unsubstantiated incidents of sexual abuse; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

The listed factors are not exclusive; facilities should consider additional issues that are common across correctional facilities and pertinent to the characteristics of each specific facility, as well as findings from reports and empirical studies relevant to sexual abuse issued by DOJ, academia, or professional sources. The final determination as to adequate staffing levels remains at the discretion of the facility or agency administration.

A shorter list of factors for consideration is required for lockups and community confinement facilities, specifically:

  • The physical layout of the facility;
  • The composition of the detainee/resident population (such as gender, age, security level, and length of time individuals reside in the facility);
  • The prevalence of substantiated and unsubstantiated incidents of sexual abuse; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

At least annually, or more frequently if necessary, facilities must reassess, determine, and document whether adjustments to the staffing plan or resources devoted to supervision and monitoring are needed, making any necessary adjustments.

Standard 115.13 requires prisons and jails to use ‘‘best efforts to comply on a regular basis’’ with the staffing plan. While this language does not appear in 115.113 or 115.213, all adult facilities must document and justify deviations from the staffing plan. Full compliance with the plan is not required to achieve compliance with the standard. DOJ determined that requiring ‘‘best efforts’’ is more appropriate to avoid penalizing agencies that unsuccessfully seek to obtain additional funds.