IDOC’s Adult Offender Classification

September 07, 2022

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Adult Offender Classification for IDOC Facilities 

In 2021, Indiana Governor, Eric Holcomb, signed Executive Directive #21-04 which authorized revisions to The Indiana Department of Correction’s (“IDOC”) “Policy and Administrative Procedure 01-04-101, “Adult Offender Classification.” The revisions concern the policies used in adult offender classification, which determines the type of facility an adult offender should be housed within. These revisions were made effective on February 1, 2021. 

If you have questions about offender classification or feel that you or a loved one has been improperly placed in an IDOC facility, contact us today at (317) 648-9560. We stand ready to provide our clients with skilled representation and a deep understanding of Indiana law. We can help you understand the classification process and how it applies to your specific case.  

What Are the Classification of Offenders for IDOC Facilities? 

Adult Offender Classifications refer to a process used by the IDOC to determine which type of facility an adult offender should be housed within. This process ensures offenders are assigned to appropriate groups and facilities based on public, staff, and offender safety, as well as the educational, medical, and personal needs of the offender.  

To make these determinations, the Indiana Department of Correction (“IDOC”) classifies offenders using specific information, including:

  • Level and context of conviction(s) 
  • Disabilities 
  • Medical and mental health 
  • Conduct in other IDOC facilities 

Level 1 – Minimum Security Classification Criteria 

The lowest level of security classification for IDOC facilities is Level 1 – Minimum Security. These facilities, generally, provide the most opportunities for offenders to work and socialize while incarcerated and have the lowest levels of violence among the various facility classification types. Most offenders who receive this classification have committed low-level drug offenses, non-violent offenses, or white-collar crimes. Minimum security facilities may feature dorm-like housing, compared to individual cells. 

IDOC Classification Criteria for L1-Minimum Security Facilities: 

  • Within sixty (60) months to the offender’s Earliest Possible Release Date (EPRD) 
  • Offender is Credit Class 1 or Credit Class A-B (not a credit restricted felon, imprisoned or awaiting trial/sentencing for Level 6 Felony or Misdemeanor) 
  • Offender is free from an active felony detainer, which extends beyond the Offender’s ERPD; If offender violated parole, they must have completed revocation procedures; If offender is from another state that doesn’t intend to extradite, their pending charge cannot be an offense against another person (Murder, Kidnapping, Criminal Confinement, Battery, Assault, Sex Offenses, Robbery etc.) and issuing state must notify IDOC in writing that it will not extradite (or has failed to respond to a written request to file a warrant within 60 days.  
  • Offender must be free from:  
    • Criminal conviction or ADP conviction for Escape or Attempted Escape or Failure to Return to Lawful Detention as an adult or juvenile from a correctional or court ordered mental health facility (including jails) for forty-eight (48) months from the time of apprehension to the time of consideration and transfer.  
    • A current commitment period sentence for escape or attempted escape.  
    • Free from ever having been convicted for:  
    • Murder 
    • Kidnapping (Level 3 or higher ) 
    • Battery by Bodily Waste (Class A Felony) 
    • Criminal Confinement (Class B or Level 3 and above) IC 35-42-3-3 
    • Criminal Confinement (Class C and D), if the victim is under 18 years of age 
    • All Sex Offenses under IC 35-42-4 and IC 35-44-1-5 
    • Class A or B offense or Level 1 or 2 offense involving Serious Bodily Injury as defined by IC 35-41-1-25, 
    • Any offense involving the death of a victim, except for Driving While Intoxicated 
    • Causing a Death and Traffic Offenses Causing a Death 
    • Dissemination of material or conducting performance harmful to minors IC 35-49- 3-3 
    • Stalking IC 35-45-10-5 
    • A conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above-listed offenses 
    • A crime under the laws of another jurisdiction that is equivalent to any of the above-listed offenses 
  • Free from a conviction during the current commitment or within ten (10) years for the following offenses:  
    • Battery by Bodily Waste (Class B or C Felony) 
    • Battery (Class C Felony or Level 4 Felony) 
    • A conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above-listed offenses 
    • A crime under the laws of another jurisdiction that is substantially equivalent to any of the above-listed offenses.  
  • Free from a disciplinary transfer from a Level One (1) facility due to a conviction for a Class A or B Disciplinary Code conviction for one (1) year proceeding the time of consideration and transfer.  
  • Free of a Class A Disciplinary Code conduct violation for one (1) year and a Class B  Disciplinary Code conduct violation for six (6) months prior to the time of consideration for transfer and throughout program participation.  
  • Security Level 1 offenders who meet Minimum Security Criteria may be assigned to  out custody/off-ground crews under non-DOC supervision.  
  • For Medical, Mental Health and Disability Codes criteria refer to Appendices XV-C,
    XV-D1, and XV-D, respectively. 

 

Level 1 – Restricted Minimum Security Classification Criteria 

Level 1 – Restricted Minimum Security is the second lowest level of classification for IDOC facilities. Most offenders who receive this classification often have committed higher-level offenses than those housed in the general population of a minimum-security prison. Typically, transfers happen because the offender has not sustained any violations in the past year of incarceration, and they are within 48 months (about 4 years) of their earliest possible release date. Those who have a restricted classification, however, are housed separately from the general population and may have restrictions on their movement, behavior, and privileges. 

IDOC Classification Criteria for L1- Restricted Minimum Security Facilities: 

  • Within forty-eight (48) months to the Offender’s Earliest Possible Release Date (EPRD).  
  • Offender is Credit Class 1 or Credit Class A-B (not a credit restricted felon, imprisoned or awaiting trial/sentencing for Level 6 Felony or Misdemeanor) 
  • Offender is free from an active felony detainer, which extends beyond the Offender’s ERPD; If offender violated parole, they must have completed revocation procedures; If offender is from another state that doesn’t intend to extradite, their pending charge cannot be an offense against another person (Murder, Kidnapping, Criminal Confinement, Battery, Assault, Sex Offenses, Robbery etc.) and issuing state must notify IDOC in writing that it will not extradite (or has failed to respond to a written request to file a warrant within 60 days. 
  • Free from: 
    • A criminal conviction or Disciplinary Code conviction for Escape or Attempted
      Escape or Failure to Return to Lawful Detention as an adult or juvenile from a correctional or court-ordered mental health facility (including jails) for forty-eight (48) months from the time of apprehension to the time of consideration and transfer.  
    •  A current commitment period sentence for escape or attempted escape.  
    • Free from ever having been convicted for:  
    • Kidnapping (Level 3 or higher) if the victim is under 18 years of age 
    • Criminal Confinement (Level 3 or higher) if the victim is under 18 years of age 
    • All Sex Offenses under IC 35-42-4, IC 35-44-15 and/or IC 11-8-8-4.5 
    • Stalking IC 35-45-10-5 
    • Dissemination of material or conducting performance harmful to minors IC 35-49-3-3 
    • A conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above listed
      offenses 
    • A crime under the laws of another jurisdiction that is substantially equivalent to any of the above-listed offenses.  
  • Offenders with convictions for the following offenses will be considered for placement in a Restricted Minimum Security Facility when they are within forty-eight (48) months of their Earliest Possible Release Date (EPRD): 
    • Murder 
    • Kidnapping (IC 35-42-4-8), if the victim is over 18 years of age 
    • Criminal Confinement IC 35-42-3.3, if the victim is over 18 years of age 
    • Battery by Bodily Waste (Class A) 
    • Battery (Class A or B Felony, or Level 1 or 2) 
    • Class A or B, or Level 1 or 2, offense involving Serious Bodily Injury as defined
      by IC 35-41-1-25 
    • Any offense involving the death of a victim, except for Driving While Intoxicated 
    • Causing a Death and Traffic Offenses Causing a Death who meet criteria for Minimum Security placement 
    • A conviction for an attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above listed offense 
    • A crime under the laws of another jurisdiction that is substantially equivalent to any of the above-listed offenses.  
  • Free from: a disciplinary transfer from a Level One (1) facility due to a conviction for a Class A or B Disciplinary Code conviction for one (1) year proceeding the time of consideration and transfer. 8.
  • Free of a Class A Disciplinary Code conduct violation for one (1) year and a Class B Disciplinary Code conduct violation for six (6) months prior to the time of consideration for transfer and throughout program participation.  
  • Security Level 1 offenders who meet Restricted Minimum Security Criteria may not be assigned to out-custody/off-ground crews outside the secured perimeter of the Level 1 facility. Offenders shall remain eligible for future Re-Entry / Work Release consideration.  
  • For Medical, Mental Health and Disability Codes criteria refer to Appendices XV-C, XV-D1, and XV-D, respectively. 

 Level 2 – Medium Security Classification Criteria 

Level 2 – Medium Security is a common offender classification for IDOC facilities. Most offenders who receive this classification have committed higher-level, and often, violent offenses. Medium-security facilities commonly have strengthened perimeters and a high staff-to-offender ratio. Most offenders are housed in 2-3 person cells and have restrictions placed on their movements. While educational and social opportunities do exist, offenders have less personal freedom in medium security facilities, and the rates of violence are much higher.  

IDOC Classification Criteria for L2 – Medium Security Facilities: 

  • Within a maximum of ten (10) years to the Earliest Possible Release Date (EPRD) at the time of consideration for transfer to a Security Level 2 facility as listed in Appendix XV-B3.  
  • Within a maximum of 60 months (1825 days) to the EPRD for consideration for the Heritage Trail Correctional Facility (HCTF) Program.  
  • Sex offenders may be considered for transfer to the New Castle Correctional Facility who are within a maximum of fifteen (15) years to their EPRD.  
  • Classified for Security Level 2 or lower.  
  • Free from a criminal conviction or Disciplinary Code conviction for Escape or Attempted Escape from a Level 2 or higher-level correctional facility or closed facility (county jail) within the last forty-eight months. This time shall be measured from the date of apprehension to the time of transfer consideration.  
  • The New Castle Correctional Facility has been designated as the treatment facility for offenders convicted of a sex offense.  
  • In addition to the above criteria, offenders must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for placement at the Westville Correctional Out-Side Facility (WCA):  
  • Must be free from an active felony detainer that extends beyond the Offender’s Earliest Possible Release Date. Parole violators may not be considered until after completing parole revocation procedures. Offenders with detainers from other states not intending to extradite (Local Service Only) may be considered for placement at WCA. The state issuing the detainer must either notify the Department of Correction in writing that it will not extradite or must have failed to respond to a written request to file a warrant within sixty (60) days. The Department shall request this information by certified mail, return receipt requested. Offenders with a misdemeanor or a community corrections’ detainer are eligible for placement at WCA.  
  • Free from a criminal conviction or ADP conviction for Escape or Attempted Escape as an adult or juvenile from a correctional facility or court-ordered mental health facility (including jails) for 48 months from the time of apprehension to the time of consideration and transfer.  
  • Free from ever having been convicted of a sex offense.  
  • Must be within a maximum of six (6) years to the Earliest Possible Release Date at the time of consideration and transfer.  
  • For Medical, Mental Health and Disability Code criteria refer to Appendix XV-C, D and D1 Adult Male and Female Medical, Mental Health and Disability Codes and Definitions. 

Level 3 – Medium Security Classification Criteria 

Level 3 – Medium-Security is another common offender classification for IDOC facilities. Like Level 2- Medium-Security facilities, offenders placed classification have often committed high-level violent crimes. However, Level 3 facilities may have more restrictive housing and movement protocols than Level 2 facilities.  

IDOC Classification Criteria for L3 – Medium Security Facilities: 

  • In Security Level 3 or lower by classification designation instrument.  
  • Within a maximum of fifteen (15) years to the Earliest Possible Release Date (EPRD) at the time of consideration for transfer  
  • Offenders with indeterminate or single Life or single Life Without Parole sentences
    and no consecutive sentences may be considered after serving twenty (20) years in the Department.  
  • Free from a criminal conviction or Disciplinary Code conviction for Escape or Attempted Escape from a Level 2 or higher-level correctional facility or closed facility (county jail) within the last forty-eight months. This time shall be measured from the date of apprehension to the time of transfer consideration.  
  • For Medical, Mental Health and Disability Code criteria refer to Appendix XV-C, D and D1 Adult Male and Female Medical, Mental Health and Disability Codes and Definitions.  

Level 4 – Maximum Security Classification Criteria 

Level 4 – Maximum Security is the highest offender classification for IDOC facilities and is reserved for offenders who have committed high-level, violent crimes or have demonstrated a history of violence in lower-level facilities during this period or a previous period of incarceration. Maximum-security prisons have the highest levels of violence, staffing, and offender restrictions, often including single-cell housing. 

IDOC Classification Criteria for L4 – Maximum Security Facilities: 

  • In Security Level 4 or lower by classification designation instrument.  
  • For Medical, Mental Health and Disability Code criteria refer to Appendix XV-C, D, and D1 Adult Male and Female Medical, Mental Health and Disability Codes and
    Definitions. 

When are the IDOC Adult Offender Classifications Made? 

Adult Offender Classifications are made at one of IDOC’s intake facilities, like the “Reception Diagnostic Center,” (or “RDC”) in Plainfield, Indiana. This facility maintains a daily population of around 600 inmates. Once an offender arrives at an intake facility, they are housed there long enough for the IDOC to decide which type of facility would be most appropriate for the offender. After the IDOC determines a classification, the offender will be transported to an appropriate, long-term facility.

IDOC Facilities 

Currently, there are a total of 19 IDOC Facilities in which an offender can be placed using the Adult Offender Classification process. IDOC facilities are classified as minimum, medium, or maximum security.  

Furthermore, they are assigned a corresponding level (1-4), with level one applied to minimum security prisons, levels two and three applied to medium-security prisons, and level four reserved for maximum security prisons. Some facilities only apply to specific offender classifications, however, there are several IDOC facilities that cater to multiple offender classifications.   IDOC Facility List for Adult Offender Classification

What are IDOC’s Work Release/Community Re-Entry Centers? 

IDOC maintains 14 work release/community re-entry centers throughout the state of Indiana. These facilities allow for low-risk offenders nearing the end of a sentence to transition back into the community. Work release/community re-entry centers provide offenders with the chance to begin working, develop life skills, and more simply, get re-acquainted with life beyond prison. To check on eligibility regarding transfer to a work release/community re-entry center, refer to Appendix XVI-A, part of Executive Directive #21-04. If you’re interested in an Indiana modification of placement, the Sentence Modification attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can assist you.  

How Can I Locate an Offender in an IDOC Facility? 

The Indiana Department of Corrections has an Incarcerated Individual Locator tool that can help you find someone currently housed in an IDOC facility, once they have been transported to RDC for adult offender classification and assignment. 

 IDOC Facility Locations

Keffer Hirschauer LLP: Former Prosecutors Fighting to Protect Your Rights 

If you or your loved one is currently incarcerated in an IDOC facility, and you believe that violations of constitutional or civil rights have been made, you should speak with an Indiana attorney about your options moving forward. The attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP would gladly look at the circumstances surrounding an adult offender classification, and help you understand if any remedies are available to pursue a lawsuit or reclassification. Schedule a free consultation online today, or give us a call at 317-648-9560

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