The information provided here gives an overview of the classification of inmates/detainees in the Chatham County Detention Center. The classification process that is utilized is called "Objective Jail Classification." This system allows us to identify the level of risk presented by newly admitted inmates, based on the use of valid and reliable information. Appropriate housing and program assignments can then be made based on the inmate's potential risk to staff, other inmates, or themselves.
Overview of the Jail Classification Process
The process of jail classification at the Chatham County Detention Center varies depending on such factors as the characteristics of the inmate population, jail management, and building design.
Initial Custody Assessment (Classification)
Initial classification is initiated, in almost all cases, after the decision is made to hold the arrestee for arraignment. It is not done for those who are quickly released through the bail process, on their own recognizance, pending further investigation, or without being charged. Once it becomes evident that a person will be detained for a substantial period of time, staff begins the classification process using information obtained from the arrest report, intake screening, and records search.
Decisions concerning program assignments may also be made during initial classification. These programs consist of an Inmate Work program, Drug and Alcohol Prevention program, Religious program, and a General Education Diploma program. The Chatham County Detention Center also operates a Work Release program. Selected participants are ordered via the Courts to find employment. Participants are released from the Detention Center during the day and report back to the facility upon completion of their work for that day.