(a) For purposes of this section, a “youth offender” is an individual committed to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who is under 22 years of age.
(b)(1) The department shall conduct a youth offender Institutional Classification Committee review at reception to provide special classification consideration for every youth offender. The youth offender Institutional Classification Committee shall consist of the staff required by department regulations at any Institutional Classification Committee, however at least one member shall be a department staff member specially trained in conducting the reviews. Training shall include, but not be limited to, adolescent and young adult development and evidence-based interviewing processes employing positive and motivational techniques.
(2) The purpose of the youth offender Institutional Classification Committee review is to meet with the youth offender and assess the readiness of a youth offender for a lower security level or placement permitting increased access to programs and to encourage the youth offender to commit to positive change and self-improvement.
(c) A youth offender shall be considered for placement at a lower security level than corresponds with his or her classification score or placement in a facility that permits increased access to programs based on the Institutional Classification Committee review and factors including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Recent in-custody behavior while housed in juvenile or adult facilities.
(2) Demonstrated efforts of progress toward self-improvement in juvenile or adult facilities.
(3) Family or community ties supportive of rehabilitation.
(4) Evidence of commitment to working toward self-improvement with a goal of being a law-abiding member of society upon release.
(d) If the department determines, based on the review described in subdivisions (b) and (c), that the youth offender may be appropriately placed at a lower security level, the department shall transfer the youth offender to a lower security level facility. If the youth offender is denied a lower security level, then he or she shall be considered for placement in a facility that permits increased access to programs. If the department determines a youth offender may appropriately be placed in a facility permitting increased access to programs, the youth offender shall be transferred to such a facility.
(e) If the youth offender demonstrates he or she is a safety risk to inmates, staff, or the public, and does not otherwise demonstrate a commitment to rehabilitation, the youth offender shall be reclassified and placed at a security level that is consistent with department regulations and procedures.
(f) A youth offender who at his or her initial youth offender Institutional Classification Committee review is denied a lower security level than corresponds with his or her placement score or did not qualify for a placement permitting increased access to programs due to previous incarceration history and was placed in the highest security level shall nevertheless be eligible to have his or her placement reconsidered pursuant to subdivisions (b) to (d), inclusive, at his or her annual review until reaching 25 years of age. If at an annual review it is determined that the youth offender has had no serious rule violations for one year, the department shall consider whether the youth would benefit from placement in a lower level facility or placement permitting increased access to programs.
(g) The department shall review and, as necessary, revise existing regulations and adopt new regulations regarding classification determinations made pursuant to this section, and provide for training for staff.
(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2015.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.