Knowing who is being housed in your facility goes far beyond verifying name and DOB. To maintain the safety of all individuals under your roof, it’s essential that you know not only who they are, but also what their background and risk factors are.
Providing valid identification is an essential function of any correctional facility, and it’s at the core of effective classification.
What goes into a valid ID?
A valid identification relies on carefully collected, individual demographics, and background and risk factor data (e.g., criminal history, past convictions, arrests, past behavior problems).
Why is a valid ID so important?
Valid identification helps your team keep your entire facility safer. When you’ve gathered the relevant information about each individual and understand their classification, you can make appropriate housing and programming decisions, as well as more informed staffing and security decisions.
The potential safety issues when you don’t spend the time to make valid identifications are serious. Both inmate and staff safety rely on valid identification, classification, separation, and supervision of individuals. If the correctional facility fails to obtain the appropriate background data, the risk of false-negative classification errors increases, and a high-risk person may be mistakenly seen as a low risk. The courts have also ruled that classification is a primary guarantor of individuals’ right to be reasonably protected from violent assault or the fear of violence—thus reducing the risk of litigation against the facility.
How do I collect the right data?
Valid identification essentially comes down to classification. Classification can be done manually, although it’s most effective and most efficient with a tool like the Northpointe Suite, with validated assessments built right in.
We, of course, are always on the side of efficiency in evidence-based practice. If you’d like to learn more about the Northpointe Suite and how it can help you provide a valid identification of each person who enters your facility, let’s talk. Contact our team of experienced practitioners today.
Adapted from the NIC’s Running an Intelligent Jail, August 2013