Graded Tier System

Patuxent Institution's treatment program is based on a four level, graded tier system that allows inmates to earn privileges as they progress in the program. The system is based on the belief that rewarding socially desirable behavior increases the frequency of that behavior, thus reducing criminality. All inmates accepted into the Eligible Person program must progress through the graded tier system if they are to be released from the program. The system has four levels each with a different set of privileges.

An offender is promoted through the tier system based on a combination of institutional adjustment and therapeutic progress. An offender may also be demoted a level if the Remediation Management Team (RMT) judges his/her behavior inappropriate or treatment progress insufficient.

Level I is an initial period designed to evaluate offenders' remediation needs and familiarize them with the remediation program and services. The objective of Level I is to provide a period of six or more months during which time clinical staff, working with the inmate, can accomplish several goals. The inmate is oriented to the rules, philosophy, expectations and services of the program. In addition, a written remediation plan designed to direct the offender to appropriate remediation services is developed. The inmate also participates in group therapy and has access to a variety of ancillary and support services.

Level II serves as the primary treatment phase and is designed to produce significant change in the offender through a structured program of therapy, education, peer support and reinforcement. While on this level, the inmate is directed to a variety of groups and services based upon the remediation plan.

The higher levels (three and four) offer increased privileges and require the offender to consistently demonstrate a higher level of behavior and therapeutic progress. Level III serves as a transitional phase and provides the stable offender with additional responsibility and privileges. Once promoted to this stage, the offender may be considered for more responsible job positions within the Institution and/or for participation in other activities, such as Mensa or “Reasoned Straight.” Remediation issues continue to be addressed with the inmate participating in one or more “advanced” therapy groups.

Level IV is an advanced level reserved for inmates whose efforts have led to significant therapeutic gains. Upon promotion to this level, the offender is relocated to a Level IV tier that provides the inmate with both greater responsibility and privileges.

Offenders who have progressed through the graded tier system and who are deemed therapeutically ready can eventually be recommended for work release in Patuxent's Pre-Release program as a way of beginning their re-assimilation into society. The Reentry Program is staffed by an RMT who provides services to parolees at the Community Reentry Facility (REF) in Baltimore. Consideration is not automatic however, and requires an extensive evaluation of the offender's progress and the approval of the Institutional Board of Review (IBOR). Such evaluations may also result in a recommendation that the offender is unlikely to benefit from additional treatment services at Patuxent. In such cases IBOR may either return the inmate to corrections, or instruct the RMT to initiate additional remediation services.

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