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CALEA Update Magazine | Issue 100

Processing and Temporary Detention: Applying Chapter 71 Standards

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Prior to the Standards for Law Enforcement Agencies, 5th Edition, temporary holding was addressed within Chapter 72 - Holding Facilities. At that time, agencies that provided direct, constant, personal supervision and control of detainees during any processing capacity were relieved from applying standards in Chapter 72. This included processing, testing, interview/interrogation, and temporary detention. 

With the implementation of the 5th Edition, several important changes occurred concerning processing and temporary detention that pertains to both the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program and the CALEA Recognition Program. These changes are: 

  • Chapter 71 - Processing and Temporary Detention now deals with a myriad of situations focusing on function (processing, temporary detention) rather than the facility (cells, rooms, detention cages).
  • The two hour time limit that previously defined “temporary detention” has been eliminated, allowing the agency to define its time constraints within specified parameters.
  • An agency can no longer identify these standards as not applicable by function, regardless if direct, constant, personal supervision and control exists.
  • Interview/interrogation has been separated from temporary detention standards and is now addressed only in standard 42.2.10 - Interview Rooms.  

When applying Chapter 71, a careful review of the chapter introduction should be taken as it addresses a number of circumstances agencies are confronted with when dealing with detainees outside of secure environments. To that end, agencies should assess the function of their facilities and decide if only “processing” is being conducted or if “detention” is occurring. If only “processing” is occurring the following standards are applicable: 

  • 71.1.1 - Designating room(s) and area(s) for processing, testing and temporary detention.
  • 71.5.1 - Security concerns in designated processing or testing room(s) or area(s) are applied.
  • 71.3.2 - Securing detainees to immovable objects. (This standard is applied only if used during processing with constant supervision. If immovable objects are used for detaining longer than the processing phase or if detainees are left unattended, then agencies must comply with all standards in Chapter 71.) 

Agencies must take care to identify all locations within their facilities that might be affected by the “processing” and “temporary detention” distinctions. As a guide, “processing” usually involves physical contact with detainees and “detention” does not. “Detention” begins once a person is left secured and unattended. This can occur in a cell or other setting where detainees are secured. If agencies are using devices to manacle detainees in areas, a careful review of the functional use of the area should occur. In these circumstances an unattended detainee will result in the area being considered a temporary detention facility and all standards within the chapter will become applicable.   

It is also important to note that within the introduction to Chapter 71 it is stated, “Detainees should be kept in temporary detention areas no longer than necessary and should be monitored closely, particularly when they have not been through an intake and medical screening process as required in jails and holding facilities.” It should also be recognized that even if state law allows “detention” for 24 hours in a particular facility, it does not preclude the facility from being considered a holding facility within the constructs of CALEA Standards if detainees are held longer than necessary, regardless of the amount of time the detainee is held. CALEA Program Managers should always be consulted when concerns arise for agencies dealing with this issue.   

In closing, during the development of the most recent standards, the Standards Review and Interpretation Committee (SRIC) heard from many agencies and dedicated countless hours to reviewing circumstances associated with processing and detention. As always, it is important to remember that every standard has been developed with best practices for public safety agencies in mind. Although the application of these standards can provide unique challenges for agencies in their pursuit and maintenance of accreditation, the safety and security of staff and the public must always be the overarching goal of accreditation. CALEA clients and assessors are asked to consult with their program managers when issues concerning these or other standards are encountered.

Steve Mitchell
CALEA Program Manager
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