A review is made of all the material collected about the prisoner, including the presentence report. A classification committee, which includes a custody staff member, makes the final decision at what level (there are five classifications levels - I through V) to house the prisoner based on recommendations made by a processor who has evaluated all the reports and test results.

The major concerns for the classification committee are the potential for escape and misbehavior while in prison. An individual's past escape history from custody is examined along with behavior while in jail. Enemies, if known and identified by either staff or the prisoner, are kept separated throughout their incarceration while those offenders needing special protection are assigned to "protection units" within various prisons.

Other arrangements can also be made to accommodate special needs prisoners such as placement in a federal prison for those offenders who would be difficult to protect in the Michigan system. Attempts are also made to classify the individual to an institution that offers programming that can meet the prisoner's special needs such as substance abuse, sex offender counseling, basic education or vocational training.