RULE 004.00.91-018 - Inmates with at Terminal Illness

RULE 004.00.91-018. Inmates with at Terminal Illness

850 Inmates with at Terminal Illness


The Board of Correction is vested with the authority to promulgate administrative regulations by Act 50 of 1968, First Extraordinary Session, as amended; authority to release terminally ill inmates is granted through Act 771 of 1991, Regular Session.


Establishes the criteria for determination of terminal illness, and the procedures for considering the release of terminally ill inmates.


To those convicted felons not under sentence of death who have been identified by the medical authority as having terminal illness; medical staff and staff filling positions listed as being on the screening committee; the Director and such staff as are involved with the release of inmates.


A. Terminal illness - An illness which, in the independent opinion of two physicians, can be expected, on the average, to result in death within 12 months of the date of the medical examination.

B. Reasonable risk - An assessment made by the screening committee, with the assistance of any professional advice sought by the committee, that the risk to the community of releasing a particular individual is minimal based on the incapacitation of that individual due to ongoing physical debility and/or based on the rehabilitated status of the individual.

C. Screening Committee - A committee the specific composition of which may vary at the discretion of the Director, which would typically include:

1. the Deputy Director, as Committee Chair

2. a representative of Mental Health Services

3. the Administrator of Medical Services

4. a Unit Warden

5. a representative of Parole Services.

D. Emergency - A condition which may be declared, by the Director, to exist when the death of an inmate is imminent, so that certain procedural aspects of staffing and due process can be accelerated or waived.


It shall be the policy of the Department of Correction to establish a screening committee to collect and evaluate information on any inmate identified as having a terminal illness and to recommend to the Director the release of terminally ill inmates who can be returned to the community with minimal risk.


A. The medical director will furnish to the Administrator of Medical Services, on a quarterly basis, a list of inmates suffering chronic debilitation and/or acute irreversible illness or injury. A prognosis will be given for each inmate, and if that prognosis is terminal, an expected life span will be stated. This list may also be issued on an emergency basis.

B. The Administrator of Medical Services will notify the other members of the screening committee established by the Director. Those members will request reports, as needed, and assemble available information pertinent to the condition and risk of release of the inmate.

C. The screening committee will meet, and staff the inmate to complete and to check the accuracy of the information. The inmate will be given notification of the staffing, at least 10 working days prior, unless emergency conditions prevail, and will be allowed to testify and to present the documentary testimony of others during the course of the staffing.

D. The staffing report, signed by members of the screening committee, will be submitted to the Director. The staffing report will state the recommendation of the screening committee and the evidence on which that recommendation is based. All documents collected for the screening process will be appended to the report. Any member of the screening committee voting against the majority recommendation may include, along with those documents, a dissent to the recommendation.

E. The Director will provide the staffing report and attached documentation to the Board of Correction for any individual recommended for release under Act 771. Should an emergency situation exist, the Director may ask the Chairman of the Board to poll the members by phone.

F. The Board will recommend continued incarceration, or set a release date for the inmate. Should continued incarceration be recommended, the Board will determine the circumstances, if any, under which further consideration may be given.

Board of Correction Approval Date: 8/28/91

Attorney General Review Date: 8/28/91

Date Filed Secy, of State: 8/29/91


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