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Managing Death-Sentenced Inmates: A Survey of Practices

NCJ Number
Date Published
56 pages
This report aims to facilitate improving the management of death row inmates and to advance the knowledge and communication among personnel who manage them.
The study involved a literature review; a nationwide survey that solicited objective and subjective information from correctional administrators, line staff who supervise death-sentenced inmates, and the inmates themselves; a comprehensive analysis of this information; and the preparation of a final report on the findings for correctional administrators. The study found that death row inmates are imprisoned for extended time periods under the uncertainty of their sentencing outcomes. The size of death-sentenced populations varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from institution to institution. A critical management issue is whether to isolate or segregate inmates with death sentences from the general prison populations or, through a classification process, to identify those inmates who could be managed in the general prison population. Most prisons have specified housing and regimes for inmates under a death sentence. Since the death penalty and associated processes stimulate public and political controversy as well as media attention, this creates additional difficulties for prison administrators and staff. Other issues are staffing levels for growing death-row populations and the prison programs and services afforded death row inmates. 10 tables, 8 references.