JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Security Forces Center recently began its first full year of established, Level I confinement facility assessments, solidifying a plan to ensure health, safety and security standards across the Department of the Air Force.
A level I facility is the lowest tier in the military correctional system and is used to confine pretrial and post-trial inmates with sentences of no more than a year.
“Previously, the responsibility for inspections at these facilities was with major commands and installations with the AFSFC’s Confinement and Corrections Directorate conducting facility assessments and confinement program reviews during ad hoc SAVs at the request of security forces commanders,” said Edward Outlaw, director of Air Force Confinement and Corrections. “Since beginning scheduled, periodic SAVs in 2022, they’ve already proven to be key in identifying and correcting critical health, safety and security discrepancies.”
The AFSFC Confinement and Corrections Directorate team is the DAF expert for corrections and confinement management. The directorate’s responsibilities include the transfer and management of Air Force courts-martialed members from worldwide confinement facilities for continued confinement in regional correctional facilities operated by the Departments of the Navy and Army. The team also maintains courts-martial, personnel and financial data of inmates confined in the DAF Corrections System and members released on parole or appellate leave.
With the new policy, developed by Headquarters Air Force, subject matter experts from the center have established a schedule to visit each facility at least every three years to assess compliance with required health, safety and security standards.
“Our SAVs include an assessment of the physical plant of the confinement facility, review of inmate management procedures, and various administrative programs such as Victim Witness Assistance Program, Prison Rape Elimination Act Enforcement, Correctional Treatment files and Military Sex Offender requirements,” said Marcus Sidney, Air Force Confinement and Corrections technical advisor.
AFSFC team members also meet with local leadership during each SAV in-brief to determine if local commanders want them to take a closer look at specific areas.
“We also conduct an out-brief while we’re on site to highlight any critical findings or concerns and follow up with a written report within a week of the visit to formally document findings and provide recommendations to correct discrepancies,” Sidney said.
The Confinement and Corrections Directorate engages daily with a host of agencies and installations worldwide to ensure all members within the team’s area of responsibility are properly taken care of.
“The inclusion of the health and safety SAVs is another tool our SMEs provide to ensure this key mission is done right,” said Col. Phillip Born, AFSFC commander. “We're also conscious about taking care of all persons we protect. Regardless of their status, they are part of the Air Force enterprise.”