News Releases

New Study Makes Recommendations for CDCR’s Inmate Classification Score System

CDCR commissioned researchers from the University of California to evaluate the department’s Inmate Classification Score System (ICSS). The heart of the issue is whether CDCR’s current ICSS accurately assesses an inmate’s threat to institutional safety and accurately places him in the appropriate security and housing level.

After concluding their study, the researchers made the following recommendations:

  1. An assessment of an inmate’s risk should be based on the Preliminary Classification score and not be overridden by the Mandatory Minimum Score. Older inmates could be given priority in downward housing placements.
  2. Inmates with a score at the lowest threshold of each housing level (19, 28, or 52) can be moved to lower levels with the expectation that such moves will not lead to increases in individual or overall rates of serious misconduct within the levels.
  3. The Custody Designation should not be used as a proxy for the risk of inmate misconduct. It does not accurately capture an inmate’s likelihood of engaging in bad behavior and was not designed for such.
  4. The Custody Designation should be eliminated as an indicator for measuring escape risk.

The researchers’ discussion of the study and the study results may be viewed in the report in its entirety here: