Location, Location, Location

By George Hook

Unlike in the States’ prison systems where a prisoner is confined to a single State and the choice of where to “do time” is limited to the few facilities in that State, in the federal system a prisoner may wind up in almost any of the federal prison facilities in any of the 40 States where such facilities are located.  Even though the mindset and function of the Designation and Sentence Computation Center (“DSCC”), located in Grand Prairie, Texas, which is responsible for initial designations is far from those of a travel agency, its mission is to make the best placement of prisoners possible, given all the different factors at play. 

Security level is the most determinative.  That limits where an inmate may go based on the nature of offense, whether violent or not, sentence time, affiliations, target characteristics, and, unfortunately these days, location overcrowding.  These factors are beyond the control of the prisoner.  But the prisoner can affect the DSCC’s decision by providing input as to such matters as DSCC would not otherwise be aware.  The DSCC will be aware of family ties and try to accommodate family visitations so that won’t be necessary for the prisoner to address unless unusual circumstances necessitate an accommodation other than the obvious. 

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