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Reception Center Processing - New Prisoners

Male prisoners sentenced to the Department’s jurisdiction shall be received, housed, and provided intake processing at the Charles E. Egeler Reception and Guidance Center (RGC) in Jackson, Michigan. They then will be tested, evaluated and classified to the institution to which they will eventually be sent. The intake process generally takes around 45 days before they are transferred to a permanent facility.  The Intake process includes security screenings, physical and mental health screenings, and the creation of programming recommendations.  Prisoners will receive state-issued clothing and property.  Depending on the offender’s sentence, they may also participate in a Phase I interview with a parole board member to discuss their programming needs and expectations. 

Prisoners at the Reception Center are on “quarantine” status, meaning they cannot receive visits from friends or family.  These prisoners can receive visits from qualified clergy, the Office of the Legislative Ombudsman, and attorneys on official business.  Prisoners may use the phone to place collect calls to family and friends when out-of-cell and given permission.  Prisoners at the Reception Center receive limited daily outdoor recreation time.  Library books and law books are available, along with religious services. 

Female prisoners sentenced to the Department’s jurisdiction shall be received, housed, and provided intake processing at the reception center at the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility (WHV) in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

All prisoners under age 21 recently committed to Department custody under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) shall be received, housed, and provided intake processing at the Thumb Correctional Facility (TCF) or WHV, as appropriate. 

Each Policy Directive (PD) mentioned below can be found on our Policy Directives webpage.

All prisoners and any personal property in their possession shall be searched for contraband when received. Prisoners received with any of the following personal property items in their possession shall be permitted to keep the items; no other items are permitted:

  1. Personal legal property as defined in PD 04.07.112 - Prisoner Personal Property
  2. Personal photographs provided they are not prohibited by PD 05.03.118 - Prisoner Mail.
  3. Religious items, other than reading material, that are necessary to the practice of the prisoner's religion and do not present a threat to the order and security of the facility.
  4. Personal addresses.
  5. Prescription glasses as set forth in PD 04.06.165 - Optometric Services.
  6. Medically necessary items, consistent with the requirements set forth in PD 04.06.160 - Medical Details and Special Accommodation Notices.
  7. One plain ring or wedding band set, without stones or insignia, that does not exceed the maximum allowable retail value as identified in PD 04.07.112 - Prisoner Personal Property.
  8. The prisoner's birth certificate, Social Security card, GED certificate, or other official documents that the prisoner may need upon release, provided the prisoner agrees that the documents may be retained in his/her Record Office file. If retained in the Record Office file, the documents shall be given to the prisoner when s/he paroles or discharges.

All funds accompanying a prisoner will be credited to the prisoner's trust account as set forth in PD 04.02.105 - Prisoner Funds.

Intake Process 

When offenders are first brought to the reception centers (normally by county sheriffs' deputies), they are photographed, fingerprinted and palm printed. Each prisoner is assigned a prisoner identification number and an identification card is prepared. They are provided state-issued clothing as set forth in PD 04.07.110 - State-Issued Items and Cell/Room Furnishings, as well as toiletries such as deodorant, soap and toothpaste.  

A prisoner file is created which includes the pre-sentence investigation report and a check is made to determine if any pending charges exist.  A Transcase Processor interviews the prisoner to make a recommendation based on evaluation of all the reports and screening instruments.  A Classification Committee then makes a final determination as to the classification level of each prisoner.

The concerns for the Classification Committee are the potential for escape and misbehavior while in prison, as well as an individual's past escape history from secure confinement and behavior while in jail. A prisoner known to have enemies, identified by either staff or the prisoner, is kept separated throughout their incarceration.  Offenders needing special protection are assigned to a protective environment within various prisons.  

Prisoners are required to attend an Orientation Program that includes information on reception center processing, the classification process, rules and regulations, fire safety, and the disciplinary process.  Prisoners are also educated on prohibited sexual conduct, how to report conduct or threats of conduct, and available treatment and counseling options.  In addition, prisoners identified as foreign nationals shall be provided with information on how to contact their foreign consulate.   

Healthcare staff will conduct a health screening and appraisal for each prisoner who arrives for intake, including dental and optometric exams. All newly committed prisoners are also given a TB test and a physical, including a blood test for venereal disease, Hepatitis C (HCV) and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).  However, testing is not required if the prisoner has a documented prior positive test result.  HIV and HCV education and counseling will be provided prisoners upon intake and physical. The test results will be provided confidentially to the prisoner along with any recommended follow-up medical care and treatment. 

All newly committed prisoners and parole violators who arrive for intake are assessed face-to-face by a Qualified Mental Health Professional for the presence of a mental disability.  Based on the outcome of this assessment, and possible further psychiatric assessment, the prisoner may be recommended for placement in specific programming provided by MDOC Mental Health Services.  Services available to prisoners include:  Adaptive Skill Residential Programming (ASRP), Counseling Services and Intervention, Outpatient Mental Health Treatment, Residential Mental Health Treatment, Inpatient Mental Health Treatment, Sex Offender Programming or Crisis Stabilization.  

An Education History/Transcript Request will be completed for prisoners who do not have a verified GED or High School Diploma.   

Intake processing is normally completed within 30 to 45 days after arrival at the reception facility and the prisoner is transferred as set forth in PD 05.01.140 - Prisoner Placement and TransferPD 05.01.120 - Adaptive Skills Residential Program if approved for transfer to that program, or PD 05.01.142 - Special Alternative Incarceration Program if approved for SAI placement. 

Additional information can be found in PD 04.01.105 - Reception Facility Services.

Steps for Family

Intake can be a challenging time for prisoners and their families as they adjust to placement within the MDOC.  While much of the intake process does not involve family directly, family can use this time to help their loved one.  For those families that are interested, they should begin the process of placing funds in the prisoner’s trust account, along with their phone account.  Because family visits are not available during intake, family can write the prisoner to keep in touch and ask the prisoner to call collect when they have the opportunity.

Family should also take this time to familiarize themselves with MDOC policy on issues such as visiting, prisoner property, and prisoner funds.