New inmates go through a diagnostic process called intake. Male inmates are received at the Diagnostic Unit in Pine Bluff for intake. Female inmates go to the McPherson Unit in Newport for intake. Inmates cannot have visitors during intake, but telephone calls are allowed. After intake, inmates are transferred to a parent unit for their initial assignment. Exceptions for initial assignments are made for Boot Camp, health reasons or security concerns. Initial assignments last for a minimum of 60 days. Behavior, bed space, job availability and institutional need dictate future assignments. Inmates are classified in three ways: custody classification, good time earning classification and medical classification.
When an inmate is written a disciplinary, it means the inmate has been accused of breaking a rule. A disciplinary hearing officer, who decides whether the inmate is guilty or innocent, will hear the inmate’s case. Being found guilty of a rule violation can result in a loss of privileges, classification level, job assignment and good time. Rule violations can lead to a confinement in punitive isolation. Disciplinary actions may be appealed as outlined in the Inmate Handbook and in department policies available in the unit law libraries.
Any inmate can request a transfer, but the decision to transfer someone is based on bed space availability, institutional needs and other factors.
Hospital Visits & Funeral Travel
Inmates are allowed visitors at the hospital. Emergency furloughs may be granted to inmates when there is a critical illness or death in their immediate family.