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For Immediate Release

July 22, 2003

Contact: Jeff Lyons
Public Information Officer
Phone: 603-271-5602

NH-DOC IMPLEMENTS SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS INSIDE ITS PRISONS

(Concord, NH) New Hampshire Department of Corrections Commissioner Phil Stanley announced that the department's new action plan will improve the operation of offender supervision and programs at the NH State Prison in Concord as well as the other three prisons.

"Our priority is for the safety of the public, staff, and inmates and we believe that this action plan will significantly enhance our efforts to maintain that level of safety," Commissioner Stanley said.

The National Institute of Corrections conducted a security audit of the institution and some of their recommendations were incorporated into the action plan. Specific actions taken since the escape of three inmates on June 4, 2003 include the following:

  • The Building Trades area is closed and will be dismantled by the end of the year. The program is being reassessed to determine how it might be offered in the future.
  • Other inmate programs and industries operations are operating at a reduced level until a thorough analysis of inmate assignments to these areas and tool control is completed.
  • The Department's security and classification units are revamping the inmate job assignment policy and procedure.
  • The intelligence gathering and sharing practices will be enhanced to ensure pertinent information is disseminated quickly.
  • Completion of the installation of security perimeter video surveillance cameras.
  • A schedule has been implemented to thoroughly and regularly search all areas throughout the institution. The Department's Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) will conduct the searches.
  • There will be more thorough and frequent searches of inmates as they move throughout the institution.
  • Revision of the Department's classification system is already underway. This is the procedure for assigning inmates to housing, custody level, and work and program assignments.
  • Staff is also reviewing the placement of an additional security fences.
  • The Department is developing safeguards to better monitor inmate records.
  • The practice of utilizing inmates in various job locations is under review.
  • Consideration of the addition of a canine team to help intercept contraband.

"These steps will enhance the security of the New Hampshire State Prison in Concord as well as our other institutions and help us to expeditiously respond to incidents which may arise," Commissioner Stanley said.

As indicated some of these steps have already been implemented. The Department's goal is to finalize the implementation of the action plan by the end of the year.

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