Military Confinement and Correctional Facilities, Policies, and Practices

FPCD-80-28: Published: Jan 10, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 10, 1980.

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A survey of current military confinement policies and practices included a review of pertinent Department of Defense (DOD) and military service directives, and discussions with members of the Defense Corrections Council and headquarters corrections personnel from each of the services. In addition, DOD actions in response to previous recommendations on uniform treatment of prisoners under military correctional facilities were assessed.

The services have been cooperating in consolidating and jointly using confinement facilities. Each service is striving to improve its correction program; both DOD and the services are revising and updating their corrections directives. However, certain problems identified in the 1975 GAO report still exist. While the Defense Corrections Council has served as a useful and regular forum for exchanging information on confinement and corrections policy, it has been unable to insure the degree of uniformity possible. The Council lacks the authority to enforce services' compliance with DOD policy. Consequently, centralized direction and oversight are still needed to insure appropriate and uniform treatment of military prisoners.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should designate a single office or group with continuing responsibility for both developing and monitoring corrections policy. The group should: (1) establish uniform criteria for confinement at each type of confinement and correctional facility; (2) establish definitive procedures providing uniform incentives for rehabilitating prisoners with identical sentences; (3) develop uniform records and reports for all services to provide a common database for efficient research and evaluation; and (4) establish an independent research and evaluation system to measure the effectiveness of facilities' correctional programs. The Defense Corrections Council should serve as an advisory body to the designated group.

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