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RSAT Forum > Monthly Discussion > August 2016: Sanctions for RSAT inmates View modes: 
eeagle - 8/16/2016 11:22:20 AM
August 2016: Sanctions for RSAT inmates

What kind of sanctions do you have for RSAT inmates who test positive for drugs/alcohol in community-based facilities?  Do you give them another opportunity to continue the program but with some significant sanctions?  Right now we are looking toward holding them an additional 30 days in their current phase, terminating their pay for 30 days, and of course individualized learning experiences. Would these sanctions be positive or detrimental to the integrity of the program and therapeutic service that the inmates are receiving?

JCosta - 8/18/2016 2:38:08 PM
RE:August 2016: Sanctions for RSAT inmates
Answer: Contraband is a continual problem in correctional institutions. The key to contraband control is careful supervision of inmates and close scrutiny of visitors and items entering and leaving the institution. Inspection of all vehicles and supplies entering or leaving the institution must be made. Contraband includes dangerous items such as guns and knives, poisonous or hazardous substances such as gasoline or paint thinner, illegal or controlled substances such as narcotics or prescription medication, or minor prohibited articles. Contraband includes any unauthorized article (See AR 204.01, Inmate Property Control, Procedure VII.). Metal detectors at appropriate places should be used. (See Chapter 003 in the NDCS Security Manual for further discussion on inmate searches)

A. Written institutional procedure shall provide for unannounced and frequent but irregular scheduled searches of facilities, inmates and inmate work areas. Strip searches of inmates will be made by trained and experienced staff, but no penetration of inmate body cavities may be made. Visual inspections of an inmate’s rectal area, vaginal area, armpits, navel, nose, ears, or mouth may be performed. Such visual inspection of inmate body cavities shall be conducted by trained staff of the same gender, in private in an area removed from general inmate and personnel traffic where the inmate may not be subjected to undue embarrassment or humiliation. Participation in visits, outside work details, furloughs and other activities where the inmate may come in contact with people from outside the institution shall be sufficient cause for visual inspection of body cavities and for reasonable suspicion. If staff believes that an inmate has concealed contraband in a body cavity, the inmate should be placed in a room/cell with no running water. Supervision of the inmate should be maintained as deemed appropriate. Medical staff should be advised of the possibility that the inmate is concealing contraband in a body cavity. Medical staff will not intervene unless the inmate requests medical treatment or the inmate becomes incapacitated or is mentally incompetent and unable to render a reasonable decision on his or her behalf and emergency medical care is required. If medical treatment is requested, manual or instrument inspection of an inmate’s body cavity will only be conducted by a nurse practitioner, physician or physician’s assistant. The inmate will be transported to the nearest hospital under security escort if a nurse practitioner, physician or physician’s assistant is not on duty and the inmate is requesting medical treatment or if the medical procedure or equipment needed to remove the contraband is not available at the facility. Manual or instrument inspections of body cavities will only be conducted when there is reasonable belief to do so, in private by health care personnel and when authorized by the Warden or designee. (See Chapter 003 in the NDCS Security Manual for further discussion on inmate searches.)

B. Institutional search plans should provide for avoiding unnecessary force, embarrassment or indignity to the inmate; use of two officers whenever possible during a cell/room search; conducting searches no more often than necessary to control contraband or to recover missing or stolen property; respecting an inmate’s right to authorized property; and use of only those mechanical devices absolutely necessary for security purposes. Institutional search plans must contain the following elements:

1. All employees who perform routine pat searches shall refrain from the deliberate searching of an inmate’s genitals or anus. Any touching of those areas of the body should be brief and incidental. In addition, any employee conducting a pat search of a female inmate shall refrain from the deliberate searching or touching of the breast area.

2. Employees shall be permitted to perform pat searches on inmates of the opposite sex under the circumstances in which employees of the same gender are permitted to do so. Male employees are prevented from performing pat searches on female inmates unless exigent circumstances exist. Employees shall not be required to ask the inmate’s permission to perform pat searches, and shall be assigned to one-officer posts on the same basis as other employees.

3. When employees make routine checks and counts of rooms and galleries, they shall make minor accommodations of courtesy to avoid the viewing of inmates who are urinating or defecating or in a state of undress, when such accommodations will not jeopardize security.

4. Thorough searches and inspections of each cell/room shall be made prior to occupancy and upon release of an inmate.

D. Any contraband which is confiscated shall be secured and, depending on its nature:

1. Be returned to the inmate upon parole, discharge, or transfer to another jurisdiction;

2. Sent to law enforcement agencies if it is needed as evidence;

3. Destroyed if it is no longer needed as evidence in a disciplinary action;

4. Sent home at inmate expense; or,

5. Upon issuing written notice to the inmate (which includes a timeframe for response) be either donated to charity or destroyed.

E. The policy regarding searches for the control of contraband must be published and made available to staff, visitors and inmates; reviewed annually and updated as circumstances warrant. Search procedures typically are not accessible to inmates for review except to say they are subject to search.

F. All visitors may be subject to a pat search, canine search, property search, x-ray scan; may be under continuous escort or supervision and/or required to pass through a metal detector or hand held metal detector upon entrance to any facility operated by NDCS. Searches will occur in a location and manner that is not degrading to the individual consenting to the search. The Warden/ designee may order a pat search of those individuals who are exempt from such a search under the reasonable suspicion that contraband is being concealed. NDCS investigators will be contacted if illegal contraband is discovered during a search and they will contact law enforcement officers as appropriate. Law enforcement officers may be contacted by facility staff if NDCS investigators are unavailable. Under no circumstances will visitors be involuntarily searched or detained. All visitors will be searched by trained NDCS staff of the same gender. However, if approved by the visitor, female staff may pat search male visitors. Male staff is not allowed to pat search female visitors. Strip searches will only be conducted on visitors with the approval of the Warden and the voluntary, written consent of the visitor when reasonable suspicion exists (after a pat search has been conducted) that contraband is being concealed.

Refer to AR 120.01, Official Visitors to Correctional Facilities and Programs. Attachment A for additional information on visitor searches.

G. Visitors to the community correctional centers generally will not be pat searched prior to entering the centers. In the event that random searches of staff are being conducted, visitors will also be searched. Visitors to the community correctional centers may also be subject to search when the Warden/designee so orders, based upon a reasonable suspicion that contraband is being concealed.

Natalie Johnson, LADC, PLMHP
Clinical Program Manager
Residential Treatment Community
Nebraska State Penitentiary

JCosta - 8/18/2016 2:40:23 PM
RE:August 2016: Sanctions for RSAT inmates
Our inmates are removed from the program and loose all good days earned. They are however able to participate in another program at a different institution and earn back some of their days if they complete the program. Making it extremely clear what they have to loose if they test positive is also helpful. As often as possible do the random screenings. If there is family support for the individuals, involvement from the family also helps.

Delores Zola Rowlette, MSW, LCADC
Deputy Director of Substance Abuse Treatment Services Contracts
Baltimore, Maryland