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Custody and Classification

Custody Classification and Levels

Once an inmate file has been assembled and they have completed all group and individual testing, the inmate is assigned a counselor who determines an inmate’s initial custody classification. DOC uses a classification scale that weighs risk factors and a validated predictive tool the identifies a high risk for violence to determines the inmates classification and custody level.

Classification criteria include both public and institutional risks and are designed to give inmates the opportunity for reduced custody, depending on favorable conduct and compliance, and progress fulfilling goals outlined in the case plan. Custody levels range from Level 1 (lowest level) to Level 5 (highest level).

Level 1:
  • Very low risk minimum custody, and may be eligible for housing at an unfenced facility such as South Fork Forest Camp.
Level 2:
  • Low risk minimum custody, not eligible to be housed in an unfenced facility. Acceptable facilities may include Santiam Correctional Institution or Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (minimum). This may be due to past escape history that is greater than 5 years old, or due to minor charges that are still pending.
Level 3:
  • Low-medium risk custody, and must be housed in a fenced, medium custody facility such as the Oregon State Correctional Institution. Level 3 inmates typically have 4 or more years to serve in their sentence, or have major crimes that are still pending.
Level 4:
  • High risk custody, and must be housed in a medium – maximum custody facility such as the Oregon State Penitentiary or Snake River Correctional Institution. Level 4 inmates typically have past behavioral issues, or are serving long sentences such as life without parole.
Level 5:
  • Very high risk custody. Must be housed at a maximum custody facility such as the Oregon State Penitentiary, or a unit within a facility that has been designated as a maximum custody unit such as Death Row or the Intensive Management Unit. Level 5 inmates typically have very high behavioral issues, or are considered a threat to the safety and security of the institutions, staff and other inmates.