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California Department of Corrections Inmate Classification System Study - Final Report, January 1986

NCJ Number
R A Spindler; R Anderson; R Abrams; J Gibbs; K Larson; K Rost; M WendelMcCarthy D J
Date Published
175 pages
This report makes several observations about California's present classification system, based on a review of other State and Federal systems and the system used in California before 1980, which argue against changing the basic structure of the current system.
The current classification system is an additive, points-based method involving 38 items. Each item is weighted with points given for the inmate's preincarcertaion, prior incarceration, or current in-prison behavior. Some items are included because research indicates that these items identify inmates potentially disruptive, while other items included are based on a consensus of California correctional professionals. There are four levels of security, with Level IV being the most secure with the highest risk inmates. Although the current system is based on documented policy and is consistent, it houses inmates in higher security levels than necessary and gives little weight to in-prison behavior. Recommendations to reduce overcrowded prisons by having inmates earn their way to lower security levels are made in three option plans. 15 charts and 32 tables.