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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through July 15, 2014
 
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DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

 

DIVISION 27

DEATH (INMATE) 

291-027-0010

Authority, Purpose and Policy

(1) Authority: The authority for this rule is granted to the Director of the Department of Corrections in accordance with ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030, and 423.075.

(2) Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to establish uniform guidelines for the proper notification and documentation of an inmate death.

(3) Policy: It is the policy of the Department of Corrections to assure that effective channels of communication exist for prompt and proper reporting and investigation of inmate deaths and for timely and compassionate notification of the emergency contact person.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & ORS 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, ORS 423.020, ORS 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94

291-027-0020

Definitions

(1) Department of Corrections Facility: Any institution, facility or staff office, including the grounds, operated by the Department of Corrections.

(2) Emergency Contact Person: That individual(s) designated by an inmate to be notified in case of an emergency.

(3) Facility Contact Person: A staff member at each department facility designated by the functional unit manager to be responsible for coordinating contact and communication with the inmate's emergency contact person and other agencies as necessary.

(4) Functional Unit Manager: Any person within the Department of Corrections who reports either to the Director, an assistant director, or administrator and has responsibility for delivery of program services or coordination of program operations.

(5) Inmate: Any person under the supervision of the Department of Corrections who is not on parole, post-prison supervision or probation status.

(6) Interstate Corrections Compact (ICC) Inmate: An inmate housed in a correctional facility in a state different than the sentencing jurisdiction under rules of the Interstate Correctional Compact.

(7) Officer-in-Charge: That person designated by the functional unit manager to supervise the facility and make operational decisions during periods when the functional unit manager or his/her designee is not readily available.

(8) Officer-of-the-Day: That person designated by the functional unit manager and approved by the Assistant Director for Operations or designee to act on behalf of the functional unit manager during non-business hours and other periods in which the functional unit manager may be absent.

(9) Rental Bed Inmate: An inmate sentenced to the Department of Corrections who is being housed in an Oregon jail.

(10) Trust Funds: Inmate money in the care and custody of the Department of Corrections that is deposited with the State Treasurer and managed by the Department of Corrections.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94; DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

Death Within a Department of Correction Facility

291-027-0030

Assessment and Security

(1) The first security employee at the scene of a suspected inmate death who is not involved in any rescue or first aid efforts will secure the scene, ascertain the identities of all those present and disperse all unauthorized individuals.

(a) Identification cards of all inmates present and dispersed will be gathered for positive identification and for later interviews.

(b) The officer-in-charge, facility contact person, and facility Health Services staff, if available, will be immediately notified of the suspected death. If Health Services staff are not on duty, the Medical Services manager will be notified. Health Services staff will notify the facility Chief Medical Officer.

(2) The officer-in-charge or designee will immediately ensure the emergency preparedness plan is implemented, if applicable.

(3) The officer-in-charge will designate an employee to maintain the security of the suspected death scene until released by State Police investigators. The death scene will be processed as a crime scene.

(a) This employee will initiate a crime scene contamination log (CD 1201D).

(b) The scene will be secured and evidence preserved, in accordance with the emergency preparedness plan, if applicable, and the Department of Corrections policy on Criminal Evidence Handling (70.1.3).

(4) Nothing within the death scene area will be moved or touched by anyone, unless the object needs to be removed because it is an immediate and ongoing threat to security, such as a weapon.

(a) The object will be photographed and diagrammed with relation to the rest of the death scene prior to its removal.

(b) Removal of the item will be in a manner consistent with preservation of evidence, ensuring not to destroy fingerprints, blood and other fragment evidence that might be affixed to the item, documenting who seized the item, who maintained custody of the item, and in what manner the item was secured.

(5) The officer-in-charge will report the incident to the functional unit manager or his/her designee, officer-of-the-day (if applicable), the State Police, and the medical examiner.

(6) The State Police will determine whether or not they should be present at the death scene. If the State Police determine they should be present, they will take charge of the death scene upon arrival.

(7) The State Police will remove and secure all property from the area that may be considered evidence.

(8) The officer-in-charge will designate one employee as the evidence custodian responsible for the handling, marking, packing, and securing of all evidence not removed by the State Police investigator.

(9) Witnesses or suspects will not be interviewed by Department of Corrections employees unless directed to do so by the State Police. Any comments made by suspects or witnesses to Department of Corrections employees will be noted and reported promptly.

(10) The functional unit manager or designee will notify appropriate staff, such as Behavioral Health Services staff or a chaplain, to provide services for inmates affected by the death as needed.

(11) Staff involved in an Inmate death incident will be offered support in accordance with the DOC policy on Employee Staff Services (20.5.2).

(12) The Medical Services manager shall request an autopsy for all inmate deaths.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94; DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

291-027-0040

Removal of the Deceased

(1) The deceased and the death scene will be left undisturbed unless authorized under OAR 291-027-0030(4).

(2) When the medical examiner and the State Police have released the body, the functional unit manager or designee will make arrangements for transportation of the deceased to the designated mortuary in accordance with contracts or local agreements negotiated by the department.

(3) Assigned staff will maintain supervision of the deceased until the appropriate mortuary has taken control of the remains. This includes expected deaths that occur at outside medical facilities. Exceptions may be made by the functional unit manager or designee only after coordination with the assigned State Police investigator.

(4) The State Police will determine the time and place that the deceased inmate will be fingerprinted and coordinate this process with the assigned institution when appropriate.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94; DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

291-027-0050

Notifications

(1) The officer-in-charge or designee will make the necessary notifications in accordance with this rule, the emergency preparedness plan, and the Department of Corrections policy on Unusual Incidents Reporting Process (40.1.6).

(2) The Department Communications Manager is responsible for reporting the incident to the Director, Deputy Director and appropriate assistant director. This responsibility may be delegated to the functional unit manager.

(3) If the inmate death is from a suspected suicide, the Behavioral Health Services manager will be notified during the initial notifications immediately following the incident.

(4) If the deceased inmate is a citizen of a country other than the United States, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the appropriate consulate will be notified as soon as possible.

(5) If the deceased inmate is an ICC inmate housed by the department, the ICC coordinator will be notified by the functional unit manager or designee. The ICC coordinator will notify the administrator of the sentencing jurisdiction as soon as possible.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94; DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

291-027-0055

Duties of the Facility Contact Person

(1) The facility contact person will coordinate contact with the inmate’s emergency contact person after the State Police have authorized notification. The staff person notifying the inmate’s emergency contact person may be the chaplain, facility contact person, or any other staff designated by the functional unit manager.

(2) The facility contact person is responsible for coordinating the processes associated with disposition of the deceased’s inmate’s remains and personal property.

(a) No specific details about circumstances surrounding the death will be provided without authorization of the State Police, district attorney, and the functional unit manager or designee.

(b) The notifying staff member shall not engage in speculation concerning the possible cause of death.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

291-027-0065

Disposition of Remains

(1) The inmate’s emergency contact person will be given the option of arranging for the final disposition of the inmate’s remains. All cost for those arrangements are the responsibility of the emergency contact person or family member that wishes to make those arrangements.

(2) Inmates shall make prior arrangements with their designated emergency contact person concerning any religious or personal preferences that they have regarding the disposition of their remains.

(3) The Department of Corrections is responsible for the final disposition of remains if the emergency contact person or family member of the inmate are unwilling or unable to do so.

(4) If the Department of Corrections becomes the responsible agent in this matter, the authorized mortuary will provide this final service in accordance with contracted services or local agreements.

(5) Trust funds from the deceased inmate’s accounts shall not be used to offset expenses incurred by the Department of Corrections related to the inmate’s death.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

291-027-0070

Property and Fund Disposition

(1) The officer-in-charge will assure that an inventory is completed of the inmate's personal property and that it is secured for the State Police, if applicable.

(2) After the inmate’s property has been released by the State Police, the facility contact person will make arrangements to have the property released to the emergency contact person.

(a) The facility contact person will coordinate the preparation of the property and arrange for disposition of this property with the inmate’s emergency contact person. The property will be placed in an appropriately sized container for disposition.

(b) Abandoned property will be disposed of in accordance with OAR 291-117-0140, Disposition of Inmate Property.

(c) All documentation concerning the property will be processed and maintained in accordance with OAR 291-117-0140, Disposition of Inmate Property.

(3) Funds held in a deceased inmate’s trust account will be disbursed in accordance with ORS 112 and the department’s rule on Central Trust (OAR 291-158).

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94; DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

291-027-0080

Death Outside the Facility

(1) Prior to Inmate Death: When imminent death can be predicted, Health Services staff will work with the officer-of-the-day to ensure that all appropriate notifications are completed in advance, including the medical examiner.

(2) Outside Work Crews: In the event of an incident involving death or possible death of an inmate assigned to an outside crew, the work crew supervisor will immediately activate local emergency medical services if available. The work crew supervisor will then notify the applicable facility. The officer-in-charge of the facility will be responsible to implement the procedures outlined in OAR 291-027-0030, Assessment and Security.

(3) ICC Inmate sentenced to DOC: The ICC agreement for all inmates sentenced to the department will address the arrangements to be used if the inmate dies while in custody of the receiving jurisdiction. Details of the agreement will include required notifications, transport of the body or remains, and financial responsibility for associated costs.

(4) Rental Bed Inmate: Local jurisdictions will report the death of any department inmate in their custody to the Department of Corrections as soon as possible, and furnish all information requested. The Department of Corrections is responsible for making final disposition of the inmate’s body and providing notice to the inmate’s emergency contact person. These arrangements will be included in all rental bed agreements.

(5) Outside Medical Facility: When an inmate dies while under the care of an outside medical facility, the staff assigned to the hospital watch or medical trip escort will be responsible for immediately contacting the officer-in-charge at the inmate’s assigned institution.

(a) The officer-in-charge of the facility will be responsible to implement the procedures outlined in OAR 291-027-0030, Assessment and Security.

(b) The officer-in-charge will determine if a crime scene log needs to be initiated.

(c) Arrangements for transportation of the deceased inmate from the outside medical facility to the designated mortuary will be made in accordance with contracts or local agreements negotiated by the department.

(d) The staff assigned to hospital watch will remain with the deceased inmate until the designated mortuary has taken control of the remains. Exceptions may be made by the functional unit manager or designee only after coordination with the assigned State Police investigator.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Stats. Implemented: ORS 179.040, 423.020, 423.030 & 423.075
Hist.: CD 7-1994, f. 3-18-94, cert. ef. 4-1-94; DOC 8-2011, f. 4-29-11, cert. ef. 5-2-11

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