5 Tips for writing an involuntary transfer rebuttal
- Kate Mitchell
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Before a decision is made to transfer an offender to a higher security institution, the offender is entitled to provide a rebuttal. This is the offender’s opportunity to explain why the transfer should not go ahead.
The transfer may still go ahead, but a well-prepared rebuttal can help challenge the transfer decision later on.
Here are a few tips to help draft an effective rebuttal:
- Look at why the “Assessment for Decision” says the inmate should be transferred.
The Assessment for Decision is a correctional document that will explain why the transfer is being recommended. Typically, an incident occurred or information has come to CSC’s attention that triggers a security classification increase.
- Respond to the claims in the Assessment for decision and explain why the inmate doesn’t meet the criteria for the new security classification.
A rebuttal should address why the reasons for the transfer are wrong or unreasonable, for example:
- Does the Assessment for Decision accuse the inmate of things that never happened?
- Does the Assessment for Decision describe an event or fact incorrectly?
- Does the Assessment for Decision make claims that are unsupported by evidence?
- Remember that security classifications are based upon an inmate’s escape risk, risk to public safety, and institutional adjustment.
Often when an offender’s security classification is being increased, only one of these factors is at issue.
- Point out any procedural fairness issues.
This includes issues like information being withheld, being denied the opportunity to speak with a lawyer, etc.
- Write out the rebuttal and review it.
Even if the rebuttal will be given orally, it’s important to have notes to ensure all the points are hit in an organized way.