The process of classification is examined in a southern U.S. prison system. Staff directly involved in classification activities in the seven prisons for males, one prison for females and the diagnostic center reported on their classification activities. Factors thought by staff to be important in classifying an offender, use of the diagnostic classification summary, and staff knowledge of the capabilities of other institutions in the system were examined. Staff perceptions of the importance and accuracy of different sources of information and the discrepancy between the two at initial classification and reclassification were used to develop hypotheses regarding possible changes to facilitate the classification process.
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