28 CFR 40.7 - Operation and decision.
(a) Initiation. The institution may require an inmate to attempt informal resolution before the inmate files a grievance under this procedure. The procedure for initiating a grievance shall be simple and include the use of a standard form. Necessary materials shall be freely available to all inmates and assistance shall be readily available for inmates who cannot complete the forms themselves. Forms shall not demand unnecessary technical compliance with formal structure or detail, but shall encourage a simple and straightforward statement of the inmate's grievance.
(b) Inmate and employee participation. The institution shall provide for an advisory role for employees and inmates in the operation of the grievance system. In-person hearings and committees consisting of either inmates or employees or both are not required by this paragraph, but they are permitted so long as no inmate participates in the resolution of any other inmate's grievance over the objection of the grievant.
(d) Reasoned, written responses. Each grievance shall be answered in writing at each level of decision and review. The response shall state the reasons for the decision reached and shall include a statement that the inmate is entitled to further review, if such is available, and shall contain simple directions for obtaining such review.
(e) Fixed time limits. Responses shall be made within fixed time limits at each level of decision. Time limits may vary between institutions, but expeditious processing of grievances at each level of decision is essential to prevent grievance from becoming moot. Unless the grievant has been notified of an extension of time for a response, expiration of a time limit at any stage of the process shall entitle the grievant to move to the next stage of the process. In all instances grievances must be processed from initiation to final disposition within 180 days, inclusive of any extensions.
(f) Review. The grievant shall be entitled to review by a person or other entity, not under the institution's supervision or control, of the disposition of all grievances, including alleged reprisals by an employee against an inmate. A request for review shall be allowed automatically without interference by administrators or employees of the institution and such review shall be conducted without influence or interference by administrators or employees of the institution.