How to Get an Inmate Transferred
If you do not consult accordingly during and after your sentencing, you could be unlucky to be incarcerated in a correctional facility that is way off from home. This is not only harsh on you but unfair to your loved ones who would want to drop by and visit you conveniently. It is even worse if you have a family and your kids or spouse want to see you. Moreover, in the case of calls and mailing services, you will be prompted to incur high costs, some of which could be a burden to your loved ones. Luckily, the American justice system can get a prisoner moved closer to home if the transfer request is valid.
However, facility assignment upon sentencing does not happen by chance. The justice system has several factors to consider before deciding to house you in a specific jail or prison. Through the process of “Receiving & Orientation/ Classification,” inmates are evaluated when first placed in custody so the federal Bureau of Prisons or the Department of Corrections can decide the best facility to house them. Some of the factors that these entities could consider include:
- Location of the crime
- Nature of the crime you have committed; violent, non-violent, sexual, drug-related, terrorism
- Length of your sentence
- Your custody level
- Behavior when in custody
- Your physical or mental health
- A court order to complete a recommended work or treatment program
Due to the detailed process that determines where an inmate is placed, getting a transfer request accepted is quite a task that could take a lot, including the services of an experienced attorney. However, if it serves you and your loved ones right, it is worth trying.
There are multiple reasons why an inmate can be transferred from one correctional facility to another. However, these are pre-determined by the Department of Corrections or the Federal Bureau of Prisons, depending on the type of facility where they are housed. Some of the reasons that could prompt a transfer could include the following:
- An inmate is a few months from release; an inmate could be moved to a facility closer to home when it is a few months or weeks to their release dates.
- Safety reasons; if a prisoner is being bullied, they could request a transfer to a safer facility. Moreover, if deemed a danger to other inmates, they could also be transferred to a more secure holding.
- Change of security category has changed; if an inmate becomes a nuisance or reforms and is deemed less dangerous, they could also be transferred to secure and less secure institutions, respectively.
- To complete a mandatory course not offered in their current holding; during the sentencing, the justice could have recommended a mandatory treatment or work program that, if not offered in an inmate’s current jail, could prompt a transfer.
- Change of behavior; should an inmate turn violent or become a danger to other inmates, they can be transferred to a more secure facility; from a minimum-security institution to a maximum-security prison.
- Their main visitor has a medical condition that may compromise their visits; if an inmate’s most important visitor develops a medical condition that could compromise their visits, the inmate could apply for a transfer.
Factors to Consider When Requesting for Transfer
If you are incarcerated in any American correctional facility, there are some factors that you need to keep in mind when requesting a transfer. Remember, a transfer is a complicated endeavor that means more than filling a request; the relevant authorities have their list of factors to consider too. When making your request, have the following in mind:
- What type of Correctional facility are you housed in; if you are held in a county jail in another county away from home for negligible crimes, you can apply to have a transfer to your local county jail. However, the request has to be approved by a judge and the county jail where you want to be transferred to.
- Safety Reasons; this is one of the best factors to win you the desired transfer. If you are constantly bullied or threatened by fellow inmates, you can file a transfer through your lawyer. This is a credible reason since you want to protect your life.
- Medical reasons; if you have underlying medical conditions, you could request a transfer. If your condition makes it hard to go by in your current holding, you could ask to get transferred to a more suitable facility. Moreover, if you are deemed to have mental issues, your lawyer could apply to have you transferred to a facility that will better take care of your condition.
- Check international protocol; if you are a foreigner housed in an American correctional facility, you could also apply for a transfer if your country of origin has a treaty in effect with the United States Government.
- Representation services; getting your transfer request accepted takes more than just a request letter; there is a need for proof that your reasons for application are valid and legit. Consequently, this demands the services of an experienced and reputable attorney.
How Long Does an Inmate Transfer Take?
An application to get a transfer does not have a specific response time; it could take one or several weeks. Moreover, when approved, the transfer is also not tied to a specific time frame; it could take long owing to factors such as transport arrangements and bed availability in your destined facility, among other variables.
When inmates are getting moved, their loved ones do not have the privilege to know; it could be at the convenience of the individual facility. However, with most facilities allowing their prisoners to contact their loved ones through calls and mails, an inmate could inform them accordingly.
However, if the above is not possible, a loved one could trace the inmates through the various authorized inmate locator sites. These sites have complete inmate transfer information, including their new housing facilities. To acquire the most accurate information, the DOC and BOP sites are the most dependable.
How to Get an Inmate Transferred?
Life in prison can be quite harsh, but being in a relatively comfortable facility can make life bearable. As such, you should maximize the chance to get a transfer to a facility of your choice for your own convenience. Request for a transfer to a prison close to your loved ones, one in which you will be more secure or where your medical needs can be taken care of.