Administrative Remedy Program for 9th Cir Corrections Summit, BOP, 2015
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U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons Western Regional Office A Snapshot of The BOP’s Administrative Remedy Program for the Ninth Circuit Corrections Summit, November 5, 2015 By Dennis M. Wong, Regional Counsel • Set forth at 28 C.F.R. § 542.10, et. seq. and Program Statement 1330.18 Administrative Remedy Program (available at www.bop.gov) • 20 day time limit, but policy preaches flexibility • One continuation page; One issue per grievance unless they are related • If there are other mandated procedures, we will refer them to those procedures in our response, i.e., FOIA, inmate worker comp claims, tort claims • Three levels: Warden (BP-9), Regional Director (BP-10), and National Inmate Appeals Administrator (BP-11) (Informal resolution must at least be attempted before BP-9) • Time frames: (Calendar days + extension) BP-9 (20+20); BP-10 (30+30); BP-11 (40+20) • Inmates may bypass and file “Sensitive” grievance (if dangerous for institution to know) • Inmates may file “Emergency” grievance (risk of imminent sexual abuse). If accepted, immediate corrective action initiated; initial response within 48 hours; final decision within 5 calendar days; best efforts to have BP-10 and 11 responses within 5 calendar days • Every institution has their own local policy that is mostly limited to designating staff who will be working with administrative remedies, i.e., Coordinator, Clerk, etc., • Records maintained for three full-calendar years Page 1 of 3 Graph shows # of filings from September 2014 to August 2015 at each level • In July 2015 - 192,181 inmates: Filed: 2,137 BP-9s; 1,302 BP-10s; 531 BP-11s Answered: 1,923 BP-9s; 1,142 BP-10s; 90 BP-11s Avg. Response Time: BP-9s (15.54 days); BP-10s (19.54 days); BP-11s (28.98 days) Top Subjects: Discipline (30%) Medical (10-20%) Staff (10-20%) Highest grants in disciplinary cases: 42% via BP-9s (8/19); 57% via BP-10s (37/64) Avg. overall grant rates in 2014: 4.5% (BP-11s); 6.9% (BP-10s); 2.2% (BP-9s) • Compare with 1989 - 47,000 inmates: Filed (avg/mo): 787 BP-9s; 504 BP-10s; 210 BP-11s Top Subjects: Discipline (40%) Programs (10-20%) Operations (10-15%) Staff (10-15%) Legal (12-15%) Medical (6-9%) Page 2 of 3 BOP Staff Dedicated To Administrative Remedy Process • • • Central Office – BP-11s: 9 Regional Offices – BP-10s: 1-2 Institutions – BP-9s: collateral duty BOP Improvements In Progress • Electronic Administrative Remedy Program (under development) Inmates would use the TRULINCS system to submit – same system that is currently used to send out electronic messages Western Region Strategies • Regional Counsel has been delegated authority to sign BP-10s for the Regional Director Ensures some level of legal review as not all BP-9s or 11s are reviewed by legal Attorney assigned as needed for more in-depth review WXR has about 25,000 inmates; receives avg. of 200 BP-10s/month • Steam line editing and review process for BP-10s Drafts are saved in directory accessible to Regional Counsel for minor edits • Hand-walk signed response to the Clerk for processing; increase frequency of batch mail • Regular discussions and follow-up with staff assigned to work with administrative remedies They need to understand your priorities and sensitivities to help issue-spot They need to feel empowered • Provide support and training to institution staff who work with administrative remedies as needed or upon request Ongoing Challenges • • • • • Ensuring adequate investigations Improving quality of draft responses Finding best way to handle frequent filers to minimize impact on other grievances Balancing administrative remedy workload with other correctional duties Evaluating use of exhaustion in litigation based upon the quality of the administrative record “I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.” Abraham Lincoln Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org (209)956-9732 (o) (415)948-5314 (m) Page 3 of 3