Inmate Classification

Inmate Classification

Offenders committed to the custody of the Department are sent to a Reception and Diagnostic Unit (RDU) for evaluation and classification.

During the RDU process, the offender will receive a physical examination, a psychological evaluation, an educational assessment, and a substance abuse evaluation.

Most offenders will be assigned a custody level based on the following (civil commitments and offenders under the sentence of death are not classified):

  • Current crime;
  • Criminal history;
  • Escape history;
  • Age;
  • Institutional behavior;
  • Proximity to release;
  • Detainers and warrants;
  • Placement matrix;
  • Risk posed to the public, staff, and other offenders; and
  • Programming needs.

Offenders will be assigned one of the following custody levels:

Close

Close custody offenders are confined within a secure perimeter (except females who will be confined at PWCC) and under staff supervision 24 hours per day, seven (7) days per week. Movement of close custody offenders within the institution will be limited, controlled, and supervised by institutional staff.

Close custody is designed to house offenders who typically have the following:

  • High-risk crime;
  • Escape history from a secure perimeter or secure facility; or
  • Serious institutional disciplinary history and/or displayed dangerous behavior while incarcerated.

Medium

Medium custody offenders will be confined within a secure perimeter. Offenders must report for regularly scheduled counts. Movement of medium custody offenders within the institution will be structured and monitored.

Medium custody is designed to house offenders who typically have the following:

  • Disciplinary history that does not require close custody placement;
  • Long-term sentences;
  • High-severity crimes or sex-related crimes;
  • Felony detainers; or
  • Escape history from a non-secure facility.

Minimum

Minimum custody offenders may be assigned to an institution or facility with a non-secure perimeter. Offenders must report for counts except when on work assignments. Movement of minimum security offenders within the facility may be unrestricted.

When outside the assigned perimeter on work assignment, the offender may be unescorted but will be monitored by IDOC staff or other designated supervisor.

Minimum custody is designed to house offenders who typically have the following:

  • No recent serious disciplinary offenses;
  • Nonviolent or low-risk crime;
  • High-risk crime but nearing a release date;
  • Do not present an obvious escape risk; and
  • Do not present an obvious threat to public safety.

 Community

Community custody offenders may be assigned to a facility with a non-secure perimeter. Offenders must report for counts, except for when away on an approved release (e.g., work release). Movement within the facility may be unrestricted.

When outside the assigned perimeter, the offender may be unescorted and will be required to report to the facility as directed by staff.

Community custody is designed to house offenders who typically have the following:

  • Followed institutional rules and regulations;
  • Nonviolent or low-risk crime;
  • High-risk crime but nearing a release date;
  • A pending release date;
  • Do not present an obvious escape risk; and
  • Do not present an obvi