Shift Your Expectations: Good Behavior IS Possible

COMPAS Classification   •   An equivant product

Let’s jump right to the bottom line: The key to effectively managing inmate behavior is classification.

Past generations of jails relied on physical barriers to maintain safety. Inmates were expected to behave badly, and they did. The focus was on containment, not management.

Now, we know better. The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) has been advocating for thoughtful inmate behavior management for over a decade, and their six-step process is foundational in many jails today:1

  1. Assessing inmate risks and needs
  2. Assigning inmates to housing
  3. Meeting inmates’ basic needs
  4. Defining and conveying expectations
  5. Supervising inmates
  6. Keeping inmates productively occupied

Jails that adopt the NIC’s approach and manage inmates by expecting good behavior see positive results for staff, inmates and the community. Negative and dangerous inmate behaviors have decreased, staff morale has increased, and facility maintenance issues are back under control.2

So where does classification fit? Every step of the way. From fighting or threatening others to making weapons because they feel unsafe, many behavior issues stem from housing issues or unmet needs, and that’s where classification tools can be prevention tools. Inmate classification is all about understanding inmates and their risks and needs, and at a system level, it can help you make better decisions about everything from housing to supervision to programming.

Many jails are moving toward objective, evidence-based classification systems including risk/needs assessments and decision support. They’re re-evaluating inmates at multiple points during their detention, they’re documenting results in a clear and accessible way, and they’re using that data to inform their decisions.

And they’re not doing it all with paper files. Effective behavior management takes the right scientific classification tools and the right software to connect and document everything your team is doing.

We can help. Our COMPAS classification tool can be seamlessly integrated into your jail management system or implemented as a standalone solution to help you better manage your evidence-based practice at every decision point you encounter.

Call us today to talk about how we can help strengthen your inmate behavior management through classification.

1 Inmate Behavior Management: The Key to a Safe and Secure Jail

2 Inmate Behavior Management: Brazos County Jail Case Study