Minnesota Department of Corrections

 

Policy:                        107.005

Title:                          Office of Special Investigations

Effective Date:          11/21/17

 

PURPOSE:    To outline the scope of the office of special investigations (OSI).

 

APPLICABILITY:   Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC); department-wide

 

DEFINITIONS:

Analyst Notebook – charting software able to be used independently or in conjunction with the iBase database.  The software displays data using timelines, links and icons.

 

Confidential informant (CI) – a person who, under the specific control of an OSI investigator, without the expectation of compensation or other valuable consideration, furnishes reliable information on an occasional basis to assist investigators with investigations

 

Confidential reliable informant (CRI) – a person who, under the specific control of an OSI investigator, without the expectation of compensation or other valuable consideration, has on several occasions furnished reliable information to assist investigators with investigations, and from whom the OSI investigator expects or intends to obtain additional credible information in the future

 

Controlling Investigator – an investigator with the OSI who initiates an agreement with an individual to become a CRI/CI, and who is responsible for the control and documentation of the CRI’s/CI’s activities.

 

Correctional operations management system (COMS) / security threat group (STG) notes – the secure area in the COMS system specifically created for OSI to enter any information related to a specific offender.

 

Delegation – the transportation of an offender/resident outside of a department facility or grounds, involving staff/volunteer escort.

 

Field Training Investigator (FTI) – an experienced investigations specialist or investigator – corrections intelligence officer who has been designated to provide instruction to the investigator trainee.

 

Field Training Program (FTP) – a formalized on-the-job program for investigator personnel under the guidance of experienced OSI investigators.  The FTP organizes skill and knowledge into two phases, each lasting three weeks.  Elements for each phase are selected based on frequency, complexity and critical impact.

 

iBase – an integrated database containing records from numerous DOC databases, including but not limited to the Corrections Operation Management System (COMS), Offender Telephone System and the iTAG offender accounting system.

 

Informant – person appointed by the department to act on an undercover basis for the purpose of 1) gathering information about the past or future perpetration of crimes, and 2) reporting that information to law enforcement authorities.  This term specifically excludes persons whose duties also include the arrest of the individual against whom they are gathering information.

 

Law enforcement assistance (LEA) case - investigative law enforcement cases in which outside law enforcement agencies contact the department for assistance with an investigation.

 

Offender call manager – live telephone monitoring system, recorded call storage, and playback system.

 

PREA coordinator – agency manager for the Prison Rape Elimination Act

 

Source of information (SOI) – a person who furnishes information, without compensation, to assist investigators with investigations

 

Training Inventory – a checklist of the tasks the FTI teaches to the investigator trainee.  It also includes a method for the FTI to indicate when the task was taught as well as task performance evaluation.

 

Weekly Observation Report (WOR) – an evaluation tool including a five-point rating system used to evaluate the investigator trainee’s performance.

 

PROCEDURES:

A.        Fugitive apprehension

1.         The OSI fugitive apprehension unit (FAU) is a licensed law enforcement unit and is responsible for the apprehension of offenders/residents on Minnesota DOC statutory and discretionary release and escape status. 

 

2.         All investigations and apprehensions are recorded in the augmented criminal investigation support system (ACISS) and approved electronically by the OSI assistant director, deputy director, or designee.

 

3.         All FAUMS may use the Identification Based Information System (IBIS) as outlined by training.

 

B.        Internal affairs investigations

1.         The OSI director or designee assigns OSI investigators to conduct investigations of allegations of serious department employee, volunteer, and contractor misconduct. 

 

2.         All investigations are recorded in ACISS and approved electronically by the OSI director or designee.

 

C.        Criminal investigations

1.         The OSI director or designee assigns OSI investigators to conduct criminal investigations, including the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), involving offenders/residents or to assist law enforcement agencies with the conducting of criminal investigations involving offenders/residents, employees, volunteers, contractors, and visitors when the offense takes place within department jurisdiction. 

 

2.         OSI investigators, who have received specialized training in conducting sexual abuse investigations in confinement settings, must conduct sexual assault and serious staff-on-offender/resident harassment investigations. 

 

3.         All investigations are recorded in ACISS and approved electronically by the OSI assistant director or designee.

 

D.        Investigative data gathering:  The OSI director or designee assigns OSI investigators to collect and disseminate investigative data gathered through:

1.         Offender telephone monitoring;

 

2.         Security threat group (STG) identification;

 

3.         Mail monitoring (both paper and electronic); Offender/Resident O-mail monitoring;

 

4.         Use of a confidential reliable informant (CRI), confidential informant (CI), and/or source of information (SOI);

 

5.         Surveillance via audio, video, and visual to include visiting;

 

6.         Communication with criminal justice agencies;

 

7.         Use of associated computer programs; and

 

8.         Property and facility searches.

 

E.         Incarcerated offender/resident death investigations

1.         The OSI director or designee assigns an investigator(s) to investigate deaths of incarcerated MNDOC offenders/residents. 

 

2.         All incarcerated offender/resident death investigations must be reviewed and approved by the OSI assistant director of investigations and the assistant commissioner – facilities division, and then sent to the facility institution head. 

 

3.         All hard copy reports and exhibits are maintained at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater.

 

F.         Training of department staff and outside agencies

The OSI director or designee assigns an OSI investigator who has been specifically trained in multiple areas of investigation within a correctional facility to:

1.         Conduct sessions in the department academy;

 

2.         Provide in-service training to department staff;

 

3.         Provide information and training to community groups; and

 

4.         Provide specialized training in areas such as incarcerated offender/resident deaths.

 

G.        The OSI director or designee assigns OSI investigators and FAUMs to respond to special assignments.  Special assignments include such examples as:

1.         Central office security;

 

2.         Investigations for other criminal justice agencies;

 

3.         Polygraph testing of offenders/residents;

 

4.         Other outside assignments as directed by the OSI director or his/her designee;

 

5.         Delegation assignments; and

 

6.         Minnesota Emergency Operations Plan (MEOP) deployments as per the MEOP.

 

INTERNAL CONTROLS:

A.        All fugitive apprehension investigations and arrests are recorded in ACISS and reviewed and approved electronically by an OSI assistant director, deputy director, or designee.

 

B.        All internal and criminal investigative reports are recorded in ACISS and reviewed and approved by an OSI supervisor/manager.

 

C.        All incarcerated offender/resident death investigations are reviewed and approved by the OSI assistant director of investigations and the assistant commissioner – facility services.  All hard copy reports and exhibits are maintained at Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater.

 

ACA STANDARDS: None

 

REFERENCES:        Minn. Stat. §241.01, subd. 3a

 

REPLACES:              Policy 107.005, “Office of Special Investigations,” 5/2/17.

All facility policies, memos, or other communications whether verbal, written, or transmitted by electronic means regarding this topic.

 

ATTACHMENTS:    None

 

APPROVALS:

Deputy Commissioner, Community Services

Deputy Commissioner, Facility Services

Assistant Commissioner, Facility Services

Assistant Commissioner, Operations Support