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Segregation Review, 1996 -- New Cast, Same Script

Segregation review at Kent in 1996 involved some new players on the institutional side, but the players on the prisoners’ side and the play itself remained much the same. As in 1994-95, the majority of the prisoners in K unit were in segregation because of incompatibles in the PC population and were seeking transfers to other institutions. These cases continued to drift from one review to the next. At times, it seemed to embarrass the administration and staff to realize how little had been done since the last review. Far from being seen as urgent, these long-term segregation cases seemed consistently to be lowest on the priority list for speedy resolution. This continued notwithstanding some changes in case management assignments designed to address this problem. In place of the previous practice where one or two case management officers were responsible for all segregated prisoners, the case load was now divided among all CMOs. As it was explained to me, the expectation was that the CMO assigned to each prisoner would be at the five-day review and would work on the development of a plan to reintegrate the prisoner into the population at Kent or at another institution; that plan would be monitored at the thirty- and sixty-day reviews with the active participation of the CMO. This expectation was confounded at the sixty-day review I attended on May 31 and at the thirty-day review on June 3, when only one CMO was in attendance. Indeed, on the list of sixty-day reviews, there were five cases in which the entry under "CMO" read "vacant," reflecting the fact that no CMO had yet been assigned to the prisoner. These five prisoners had been segregated for periods of 383, 153, 82, 81, and 42 days.

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