28 CFR § 540.63 - Personal interviews.

§ 540.63 Personal interviews.

(a) An inmate may not receive compensation or anything of value for interviews with the news media.

(b) Either an inmate or a representative of the news media may initiate a request for a personal interview at an institution.

(c) Visits by the news media to conduct personal interviews are subject to the same conditions stated in § 540.62. A media representative shall make a request for personal interview within a reasonable time prior to the personal interview.

(d) Staff shall notify an inmate of each interview request, and shall, as a prerequisite, obtain from the inmate written consent for the interview prior to the interview taking place. The written consent or denial becomes part of the inmate's central file.

(e) As a prerequisite to granting the interview, an inmate must authorize the institutional staff to respond to comments made in the interview and to release information to the news media relative to the inmate's comments.

(f) The Warden shall normally approve or disapprove an interview request within 24 to 48 hours of the request.

(g) The Warden shall document any disapproval. A request for interview may be denied for any of the following reasons.

(1) The news media representative, or the news organization which he or she represents, does not agree to the conditions established by this subpart or has, in the past, failed to abide by the required conditions.

(2) The inmate is physically or mentally unable to participate. This must be supported by a medical officer's statement (a psychologist may be used to verify mental incapacity) to be placed in the inmate's record, substantiating the reason for disapproval.

(3) The inmate is a juvenile (under age 18) and written consent has not been obtained from the inmate's parent or guardian. If the juvenile inmate's parents or guardians are not known or their addresses are not known, the Warden of the institution shall notify the representative of the news media of the inmate's status as a juvenile, and shall then consider the request.

(4) The interview, in the opinion of the Warden, would endanger the health or safety of the interviewer, or would probably cause serious unrest or disturb the good order of the institution.

(5) The inmate is involved in a pending court action and the court having jurisdiction has issued an order forbidding such interviews.

(6) In the case of unconvicted persons (including competency commitments under 18 U.S.C. 4244 and 4246) held in federal institutions, interviews are not authorized until there is clearance with the court having jurisdiction, ordinarily through the U.S. Attorney's Office.

(7) The inmate is a “protection” case and revelation of his or her whereabouts would endanger the inmate's safety.

(h) Interviews are normally held in the institution visiting room during normal weekday business hours. The Warden may:

(1) Determine that another location is more suitable for conducting the interview;

(2) Limit interview time for the entire institution if the Warden determines that the interviews are imposing a serious drain on staff or use of the facilities;

(3) Limit to one one-hour interview per month for an inmate in segregation, restricted, holdover, control unit, or hospital status if required by special security, custodial, or supervisory needs; and

(4) Limit the amount of audio, video, and film equipment or number of media personnel entering the institution if the Warden determines that the requested equipment or personnel would create a disruption within the institution.

(i) In conjunction with the personal interview, if the member of the media wishes to tour the institution, he or she must comply with the provisions of § 540.61.

(j) Interviews are not subject to auditory supervision.