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Inmate Behavior Management: Brazos County Jail Case Study

“Violence, vandalism, and other unwanted inmate behaviors prevail in many jails nationwide, and they frustrate jail practitioners who must ensure the safety and security of inmates, staff and the public... Effectively managing inmate behavior creates a safer environment for the inmates and staff and allows the jail to provide a valuable service to the public. Community safety is enhanced by strong jail management and facilities should aspire to create environments where compliance, respect, and cooperation are fostered.

In an attempt to create a system of strong management, the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) introduced an initiative that was designed to teach administrators, managers, and corrections officers the most effective methods to control inmate behavior and optimize operational efficiency.

NIC calls the initiative Inmate Behavior Management or IBM. The comprehensive management system has six identifiable elements that work together to control inmate behavior and create an efficient and effective organization” (p. 1). These are:

  • assessing risks and needs;
  • assigning inmates to housing;
  • meeting inmates’ basic needs;
  • defining and conveying expectations for inmates;
  • supervising inmates;
  • and keeping inmates productively occupied.

This report explains how the Brazos County Jail implemented IBC. While the post-implementation study period was not very long, it appears that there is a positive trend in behavior change.