Operations

  1. Incident reporting improvement
  2. Senior management review of incidents
  3. Classification
  4. Cross gender supervision
  5. Administrative investigations
  6. Contraband prevention and detection
  7. Grievances – staff duties and system improvement
  8. Suicide prevention strategies
  9. Safety and supervision via searches and rounds
  10. Inmate discipline

Incident reporting improvement

Monitoring of a facility’s strengths and challenges begins with a review of its incidents and how they are reported and responded to. TMG can assess your agency’s needs in incident reporting processes and policy direction to staff and tailor new policy language and staff training to meet your agency’s goals. TMG will ensure your staff learn how to adequately and promptly document all reportable incidents in accordance with your policy and that they know how to ensure the most crucial information is included in accordance with generally accepted correctional standards. TMG will ensure any training of staff is aligned with your agency’s incident reporting system or if relevant, settlement agreement/consent decree. We also work to assess your specific needs, via review of current incident reports, so we can customize strategies for your team. Our goal is that your staff learn practical and easy steps to write incident reports that contain the information you need, and document important steps staff took to respond in a critical incident.

Senior management review of incidents

TMG knows that without keen supervisory review of incidents and incident reports, that misconduct can go unchecked and opportunities for praise of staff actions inadvertently overlooked. TMG has a variety of leadership trainings. In this area, we can show your agency’s supervisors how prompt administrative review of incident reports, using systems, policy, root cause analysis and patterns, can screen for staff misconduct, recognize incidents that warrant referral to investigators, identify instances of exemplary staff work, and identify the root cause or “why” behind inmate and staff actions. Our goal is to teach supervisors how to find the preventable actions that lead to incidents and avoid a similar incident from occurring in the future. Your supervisors will also learn and practice how to coach staff and take necessary corrective action in a meaningful way, learning communication skills they can use with line staff that are positive, helpful and get results.

Classification

TMG understands classification is multifaceted and must be tailored differently depending on juvenile populations, women inmates, and other complexities within your population. We can review your policies and procedures to ensure your agency has an understandable and objective classification system that separates inmates into housing units properly in order to protect inmates from risk of harm. Our experts can review your system to check for challenges in policy or policy adherence, to include staff use of security levels, suicide risk, severity of current charges, types of prior institutional stays, history of escape, history of violence, and other special needs to house inmates. We can also review your current intake-related processes, from staffing to information access, housing plans and logistics upon intake to provide recommendations for efficiencies.

Cross gender supervision

PREA was not the only reason cross-gender supervision became a hot topic in corrections. Cases of sexual misconduct are not new, nor are cases of unwarranted privacy invasion and ineffective supervision based on gender of staff. TMG understands PREA and the reasoning behind smart and thoughtful staffing within men’s and women’s institutions. From BFOQ positions to methods to improve supervision without removing privacy, our experts can assess your strengths and challenges and improve practices for a safer facility.

Administrative investigations

Nearly all facilities handle administrative investigations, but often, staff assigned receive little formal training in how to manage these successfully. TMG can review your current policies, procedures, and practices to ensure your assigned investigators are able to produce timely, objective and thorough investigations of alleged staff or inmate misconduct, in accordance with generally accepted correctional standards. We can ensure your staff understand the components of documented interviews, supporting evidence, witness and participant statements, policies and procedures relevant to the incident, physical evidence, electronic evidence, and relevant logs. TMG teaches interviewing techniques, standards of proof, evidence required to substantiate a case for prosecution, tracking procedures and confidentiality requirements, report writing, and we also ensure this specialized training meets the needs of PREA’s investigator training standards.

Contraband prevention and detection

Introduction and access to contraband presents problems for prisons nationwide. Cell phones, illegal drugs or the sharing or selling of medications creates issues with both inmate and staff safety. Much like in the community, this kind of contraband in prison settings can lead to increases in debts, bartering and trading for drugs that creates an underground economy, opportunities to trade sex for items, opportunities for personal conflicts because of debts, negative impact on staff safety and inmate management, distrust among inmates and staff, and the erosion of rehabilitation efforts and programming by interfering with an inmate’s work towards recovery. TMG starts with prevention, to include assessing areas where unlawful items might be introduced into a prison, such as inmate visitation areas, the front gate, inmate mail system, inmate reentry after work outside the prison, and fence and perimeter checks. Prevention also includes assessing where inmates are gaining access to unauthorized drugs such as pill call procedures. We review best practices in detection practices as well, including search procedures, both mail, person and area, drug screenings, and the use of K-9 dogs and scanners. Our comprehensive contraband review can help you find ways to stem the drugs and cell phones entering your facility.

Grievances – staff duties and system improvement

It is often challenging to relay to staff why a functioning and effective inmate grievance system is important. Many see these as inmate complaint boxes, where inmates criticize the facility about their food or clothing or a staff person, and time is spent addressing these complaints, frustrating staff and leadership alike. These concerns are valid. However, the true purpose of an inmate grievance system is not to simply provide a complaint box or sounding board. Its chief goal is to support staff and inmate safety by addressing legitimate concerns, reports and complaints, supporting a transparent and open communication-based facility culture, and gaining the trust and cooperation of the inmate population. TMG can review your grievance policy and system and recommend improvements to make it more effective and easier for staff to effectuate. We review everything from facility culture and communication to inmate access and inmate and staff education about the process to hearing processes, tracking and grievance results. We also work to ensure a quality assurance system is built around the grievance system to maintain any changes and improve outcomes for long-term success.

Suicide prevention strategies

Few events are as traumatic for staff than walking in on a suicide attempt or completed suicide. Suicide prevention policy must be followed up with clear procedures for staff around inmate supervision and behavioral health intervention. TMG reviews policy and assesses practice to give practical measures to improve both. Our reviews and recommendations include assistance around staff training, intake screening, mental health care, management of and communication with inmates, staff supervision, welfare checks and observation, documentation, housing, interventions, and mortality and morbidity review. We work hand-in-hand with your behavioral health provider to ensure cohesive recommendations and that training is effective and useful across disciplines.

Safety and supervision via searches and rounds

Safe supervision of inmates starts with strong policy and practice around tours, supervisory duties, security, special management inmate supervision, searches, and documentation. TMG has experts in all of these operational areas who can assess the strengths of your facility and the challenge areas that need improvement. We will work with you to craft recommendations for positive and long-lasting change. We also work with institutions under settlement agreements and consent decrees to help them successfully put into place policies that meet legal expectations. TMG can help you with procedures such as quality rounds by officers and documentation that meets or exceeds accepted correctional standards; searches of inmates, cells, areas and perimeters and supervisory expectations in all security areas; use of video surveillance; reviews and updating of post orders; and special supervision requirements of inmates in segregated housing.

Inmate discipline

Inmate disciplinary policies and procedures are a common area needing updating to align with best practices. TMG can work with your agency to assess current barriers and revise and improve policy and practices to make your inmate disciplinary process more effective. We look at the reasons behind disciplinary infractions, the issuance of written disciplinary citations, administrative reviews, hearings practices and disciplinary reports for both minor and major rules violations to assess and make strategy recommendations. We review protections for inmates in segregated housing and those who are seriously mentally ill to ensure the provision of proper due process protections.

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