This article seeks to clarify the process, and variables, associated with seeking a transfer to a different prison within the Federal Bureau of Prisons. This information is being disseminated in the hopes that it will help to guide current and future federal inmates in seeking a transfer to the prison of their choosing. It aims to inform those in need of this information so that they have the tools they need to effectively advocate for themselves, and help to steer readers away from costly “prison transfer” services which are essentially scams of prisoners and their families.
Initial Designation at a Federal Bureau of Prisons Facility
Federal prisoners are not given a choice in which prison they are first designated to. This designation is made by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) in Grand Prairie, Texas. Initial designation determinations are based upon a number of factors. These factors are scored using the BOP’s Custody and Classification Form, which takes into account length of sentence, charge, criminal history, and a number of other factors, such as release destination, history of escapes, and self-surrender status.
Differences Between Initial Designation and Transfer
The process of seeking a transfer post-initial designation is different. These determinations are primarily made by the federal inmate’s unit team at their local prison, not at the DSCC. However, the process, and qualifications, to seek a transfer are anything but simple. What follows are tips about the practice of seeking a transfer within the BOP.