[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 207 (Friday, October 25, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 63875-63877]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-25166]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Bureau of Prisons

28 CFR Part 524

[BOP-AB60-F]
RIN 1120-AB60


Progress Reports Rules Revision

AGENCY: Bureau of Prisons, Justice.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau) removes from 
regulations and/or modifies two types of progress reports: transfer 
reports and triennial reports.

DATES: This rule is effective on November 25, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sarah Qureshi, Office of General 
Counsel, Bureau of Prisons, phone (202) 307-2105.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:  In this final rule, the Bureau removes from 
regulations and/or modifies two types of progress reports: Transfer 
reports and triennial reports. We published a proposed rule on this 
topic on September 15, 2011 (76 FR 57012).
    Section 524.41, entitled ``Types of progress reports,'' lists 
several types of progress reports prepared for non-Bureau entities, 
such as for parole hearings, pre-release, final (prepared 90 days 
before an inmate's release to a term of supervision), and for other 
reasons (such as upon court request or a clemency review). The previous 
regulations also identified two types of progress reports that were 
primarily intended for internal Bureau purposes: Those prepared when 
inmates transfer to community confinement or another institution, and 
those prepared triennially if not more frequently done for any other 
reason.
    Transfer Reports. The previous regulations defined ``transfer 
report'' as one prepared on an inmate recommended and/or approved for 
transfer to community confinement or to another institution and whose 
progress has not been summarized within the previous 180 days. The 
Bureau modifies this definition in the final rule to indicate that 
transfer reports will only be prepared on inmates transferring to 
community confinement or non-Bureau facilities.
    Current Bureau practice and advances in technology have obviated 
the need to prepare a specific paper report when an inmate is 
transferred between Bureau facilities. When an inmate is transferred, 
all pertinent information regarding the progress of an inmate being 
transferred has already been updated in the Bureau's computer system, 
which staff may access at all Bureau facilities. It is, therefore, 
unnecessary for a separate and specific progress report to be prepared 
by staff at the transferring Bureau facility for staff at the receiving 
Bureau facility, when receiving facility staff can easily access this 
information themselves through the Bureau's computer system.
    However, when an inmate is transferring to any non-Bureau facility, 
staff at that facility may not have access to the Bureau's computer 
system. The proposed rule also contemplated removing the requirement to 
prepare transfer reports for inmates transferring to Bureau community 
confinement facilities. However, since publishing the proposed rule, it 
has come to the Bureau's attention that some Bureau community 
confinement facilities do not yet have the capability to access the 
Bureau's computer system. Therefore, because they do not have 
consistent access to the Bureau's computer system, it would be 
necessary for Bureau staff to prepare a transfer report detailing an 
inmate's progress for inmate transfers to both community confinement 
facilities and non-Bureau facilities. In an abundance of caution, 
therefore, we modify the proposed rule to indicate that transfer 
reports must continue to be prepared not only for inmate transfers to 
non-Bureau facilities, but for transfers to community confinement as 
well.
    Triennial Reports. In the final rule, the Bureau deletes triennial 
reports as a type of progress report. Previous regulations stated that 
a progress report would be prepared on each designated inmate at least 
once every 36 months if not previously generated for another reason.
    Before the development of the internal Bureau computer information 
network, triennial reports were a necessary tool used to provide staff 
with specific inmate information. As explained above, however, current 
Bureau practice and advances in technology have obviated the need to 
prepare a specific progress report every 36 months, because all 
information

[[Page 63876]]

regarding an inmate's progress is continually updated in the Bureau's 
computer system, which staff may access at all Bureau facilities.

Response to Comments

    We received a total of 4 comments on the proposed rule. We address 
issues raised by each commenter below.
    Two commenters expressed concerns with the Bureau's computer 
system, which we referred to in the proposed rule. We stated that there 
is no need for a transfer report when an inmate is transferred between 
Bureau facilities because inmate information is updated in the Bureau's 
computer system, which staff may access at all Bureau facilities. We 
also stated that information regarding an inmate's progress is 
continually updated in the Bureau's computer system, obviating the need 
for a triennial report. The commenter stated that ``there should be a 
backup in the case that the computer system becomes temporarily or 
permanently unavailable.''
    The Bureau's ``backup'' in case of unavailability of the computer 
system is the Inmate Central File. All information regarding an 
inmate's progress is contained in that inmate's Central File, which is 
a physical, paper file which accompanies the inmate when he/she is 
transferred from facility to facility. Staff update the Central File 
whenever there is new activity with regard to the inmate. For instance, 
work reports are filed quarterly or monthly, inmate program completion 
certificates are filed when the inmate completes programs, disciplinary 
reports are filed when there are disciplinary incidents, etc., just as 
the computer system is continually updated.
    Another commenter requested that the Bureau provide a ``more 
clarified reason for the removal [of triennial reports and transfer 
reports between Bureau facilities] and how it will benefit the public 
and agency.'' We explain the benefit in terms of the amount of staff 
time per year that would be saved. Both transfer reports and triennial 
reports take an average of one staff hour per report to complete. In 
the calendar year 2010, there were 69,517 transfers of inmates between 
Bureau facilities. Eliminating transfer reports between Bureau 
facilities would therefore result in a staff time savings of 
approximately 69,517 hours per year. As of January 2012, there are 
approximately 1,080 Bureau of Prisons case managers doing approximately 
75 hour-length triennial reports per year. This results in an 
approximate staff time burden nationwide of 81,000 hours per year. 
Thus, eliminating transfer reports between Bureau facilities and 
triennial reports would save the Bureau approximately 150,517 staff 
hours per year, which could then be devoted to better ensuring the 
safety, security, and good order of the facilities and protection of 
the public through means such as detection of contraband, illegal 
communications, criminal activity, and other such problems.
    A commenter had some specific questions with regard to transfer 
reports. He asked: ``Does the [computer] network address every issue a 
report would? Does the staff at the receiving Bureau [facility] fully 
examine the inmate's record upon arrival or is it possible that some 
important information could be missed?''
    The purpose of the transfer report was to provide a summary of the 
inmate's progress and adjustment for the receiving institution. 
However, on review of this process, the Bureau determined this summary 
to be unnecessary because (1) the information input in the computer 
system included far more than that contained in the transfer report; 
and (2) staff at the receiving facility are required to review the 
Inmate Central File for the transferred inmate immediately upon the 
inmate's arrival in order to determine suitability for placement in 
general population regardless of whether they had reviewed the summary 
contained in the transfer report. Further, any decisions pertaining to 
the inmate must be based on a review of the Inmate Central File as a 
whole and an evaluation of the inmate during intake screening, not 
solely on the transfer report. While it is always possible that 
information may be missed, it is more likely that information would be 
missed during a cursory review of the summary contained in a transfer 
report than during a more thorough review of the entire Inmate Central 
File.
    Two commenters also raised concerns that elimination of the 
triennial report requirement would cause less frequent reviews of 
inmate progress by staff. One commenter asked, ``Is it possible to 
include in the rule a clause that demands the information is reviewed 
triennially by the staff?''
    The language in the regulation requiring a triennial report was a 
requirement on staff to complete the report, not a requirement on staff 
to review an inmate's progress. It is unnecessary to specifically 
include a clause in these regulations requiring staff to review an 
inmate's progress triennially because current regulations on inmate 
program reviews (28 CFR part 524) already require staff to review 
inmate progress through program reviews at least once every 180 
calendar days or more frequently.
    For the aforementioned reasons, we now finalize the proposed rule 
published on September 15, 2011 (76 FR 57012), with a minor change to 
re-insert the requirement to prepare transfer reports for inmates 
transferring to community confinement.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule falls within a category of actions that the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has determined not to constitute 
``significant regulatory actions'' under section 3(f) of Executive 
Order 12866 and, accordingly, it was not reviewed by OMB.

Executive Order 13132

    This regulation will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, under Executive Order 13132, 
we determine that this rule does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Director of the Bureau of Prisons, under the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), reviewed this regulation and by 
approving it certifies that it will not have a significant economic 
impact upon a substantial number of small entities for the following 
reasons: This rule pertains to the correctional management of offenders 
committed to the custody of the Attorney General or the Director of the 
Bureau of Prisons, and its economic impact is limited to the Bureau's 
appropriated funds.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This rule will not result in the expenditure by State, local and 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100,000,000 or more in any one year, and it will not significantly or 
uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed 
necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 
1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This rule is not a major rule as defined by section 804 of the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This rule 
will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100,000,000 or 
more; a

[[Page 63877]]

major increase in costs or prices; or significant adverse effects on 
competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on 
the ability of United States-based companies to compete with foreign-
based companies in domestic and export markets.

List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 524

    Prisoners.

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.,
Director, Bureau of Prisons.

    Under rulemaking authority vested in the Attorney General in 5 
U.S.C. 552(a) and delegated to the Director, Bureau of Prisons, we 
amend 28 CFR part 524 as set forth below.

PART 524--CLASSIFICATION OF INMATES

0
1. The authority citation for 28 CFR part 524 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 301; 18 U.S.C. 3521-3528, 3621, 3622, 3624, 
4001, 4042, 4046, 4081, 4082 (Repealed in part as to offenses 
committed on or after November 1, 1987), 5006-5024 (Repealed October 
12, 1984 as to offenses committed after that date), 5039; 21 U.S.C. 
848; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510.


0
2. In Sec.  524.41, remove paragraphs (d) and (e), redesignate 
paragraph (f) as (e), and add a new paragraph (d) to read as follows:


Sec.  524.41  Types of progress reports.

* * * * *
    (d) Transfer report--prepared on an inmate transferring to 
community confinement or any non-Bureau facility.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2013-25166 Filed 10-24-13; 8:45 am]
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