28 CFR 541.8 - Discipline Hearing Officer (DHO) hearing.
The Discipline Hearing Officer (DHO) will only conduct a hearing on the incident report if referred by the UDC. The DHO's hearing involves the following:
(a) Available dispositions. The DHO will make one of the following decisions after a hearing on the incident report:
(1) You committed the prohibited act(s) charged, and/or a similar prohibited act(s) as described in the incident report;
(2) You did not commit the prohibited act(s) charged; or
(3) The incident report will be referred back for further investigation, review, and disposition.
(b) Discipline Hearing Officer. The DHO will be an impartial decision maker who was not a victim, witness, investigator, or otherwise significantly involved in the incident.
(c) Timing. You will receive written notice of the charge(s) against you at least 24 hours before the DHO's hearing. You may waive this requirement, in which case the DHO's hearing can be conducted sooner.
(1) How to get a staff representative. You may request the staff representative of your choice, so long as that person was not a victim, witness, investigator, or otherwise significantly involved in the incident. If your request(s) cannot be fulfilled, and you still want a staff representative, the Warden will appoint one. The Warden will also appoint a staff representative if it appears you are unable to adequately represent yourself before the DHO, for example, if you are illiterate or have difficulty understanding the charges against you.
(2) How the staff representative will help you. Prior to the DHO's hearing, the staff representative will be available to help you understand the incident report charges and potential consequences. The staff representative may also assist you by speaking with and scheduling witnesses, obtaining written statements, and otherwise helping you prepare evidence for presentation at the DHO's hearing. During the DHO's hearing, you are entitled to have the staff representative appear and assist you in understanding the proceedings. The staff representative can also assist you in presenting evidence during the DHO's hearing.
(3) How the staff representative may appear. Your staff representative may appear either in person or electronically (for example, by video or telephone conferencing) at the DHO's discretion. If your staff representative is not available for the scheduled hearing, you may either select another staff representative, request the hearing be postponed for a reasonable amount of time until your staff representative can appear, or proceed without a staff representative.
(e) Inmate appearance. You are permitted to appear before the DHO during the hearing on the incident report as follows:
(1) You may appear either in person or electronically (for example, by video or telephone conferencing), at the DHO's discretion.
(3) You may waive your appearance before the DHO. If you waive your appearance, the DHO hearing will be conducted in your absence.
(4) If you escape or are otherwise absent from custody, the DHO will conduct a hearing in your absence at the institution where you were last confined.
(f) Evidence and witnesses. You are entitled to make a statement and present documentary evidence to the DHO on your own behalf. The DHO will consider all evidence presented during the hearing. The DHO's decision will be based on at least some facts and, if there is conflicting evidence, on the greater weight of the evidence. Witnesses may appear at the DHO's hearing as follows:
(1) Witnesses may appear before the DHO either in person or electronically (for example, by video or telephone conferencing) at the DHO's discretion.
(2) The DHO will call witnesses who have information directly relevant to the charge(s) and who are reasonably available. However, the DHO need not call witnesses adverse to you if their testimony is adequately summarized in the incident report or other investigation materials.
(3) You or your staff representative may request witnesses appear at the hearing to testify on your behalf. Your requested witnesses may not appear if, in the DHO's discretion, they are not reasonably available, their presence at the hearing would jeopardize institution security, or they would present repetitive evidence.
(4) If your requested witnesses are unavailable to appear, written statements can be requested by either the DHO or staff representative. The written statements can then be considered during the DHO's hearing.
(5) Only the DHO may directly question witnesses at the DHO's hearing. Any questions by you or your staff representative must be submitted to the DHO, who will present the question to the witness in his/her discretion.
(6) The DHO may consider evidence provided by a confidential informant (CI) that the DHO finds reliable. You will not be informed of the CI's identity. You will be informed of the CI's testimony to the extent it will not jeopardize institution security, at the DHO's discretion.
(g) Sanctions. If you committed a prohibited act(s), the DHO can impose any of the available sanctions listed in Tables 1 and 2.
(h) Written Report. You will receive a written copy of the DHO's decision following the hearing. The DHO is not required to prepare a verbatim record of the hearing. The DHO's written report will document the following:
(1) Whether you were advised of your rights during the DHO process;
(2) The evidence relied on by the DHO;
(3) The DHO's decision;
(4) The sanction imposed by the DHO; and
(5) The reason(s) for the sanction(s) imposed.