The jail's classification section is responsible for the classification of those inmates housed in the Roanoke City Jail to ensure proper housing and custody is maintained during the inmates' period of incarceration. The primary goals of classification are the proper housing and custody assignment of inmates to ensure inmate, staff and public safety and to facilitate appropriate treatment and program participation while maintaining compliance with "Minimum Standards for Local Jails and Lockups," National Commission of Correction Health Care and American Correctional Association Standards. All inmates are afforded equal protection against personal abuse, corporal punishment, personal injury, disease, property damage and harassment.
Each inmate committed shall be afforded freedom from discrimination based on:
Security permitting, all inmates will have equal access to the jail's various programs and work assignments and involvement in decisions concerning their classification status. All jails, regardless of size, are required to deal with widely diverse elements of society. Armed robbers to exhibitionists, murderers to check bouncers - persons with vastly differing criminal backgrounds, emotional makeup, needs, skills and educational levels are forced into the same jail population, requiring equally differing security, custody and treatment approaches. Classification, or the evaluative process by which housing decisions are made, is the primary management tool to aid in providing appropriate responses to this widely diverse inmate population.
Classification determines the degree of supervision required to control each inmate to ensure the security of the institution and the safety of the community. Overall, a properly functioning classification system has been found to provide the basis for the effective management of inmates in a safe, secure correctional environment, while also ensuring their equitable, humane treatment. Classification is an ongoing process reoccurring as needed during the inmate's incarceration. The classification section is staffed by 3 full time members including a supervisor.