Policy:                                    204.060

Title:                                      Challenge Incarceration Program – Phase I

Effective Date:                      11/7/17


PURPOSE:    To provide eligibility requirements, admission procedures, and program requirements for the first phase of a highly structured and rigorous early release program that provides offenders an opportunity to successfully complete targeted, individualized programming that lowers their risk of recidivism.


APPLICABILITY:   Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC); offenders incarcerated in adult correctional facilities



A.        Eligibility for CIP

1.         Offenders are not eligible for CIP if they:

a)         are serving or have served in the past ten years a sentence for murder, manslaughter, criminal sexual conduct, assault, kidnapping, robbery, arson, or any other offense involving death or intentional personal injury;


b)         have been convicted or adjudicated delinquent within the past five years of escape from custody in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.485;


c)         are committed to the commissioner custody for an offense that requires registration under Minn. Stat. § 243.166;


d)         are subject to a current arrest warrant or detainer;


e)         have fewer than 180 days remaining on their term of imprisonment;


f)         have been issued a segregation penalty or had disciplinary confinement time added to their term of imprisonment within 90 days;


g)         are currently subject to a suspended formal disciplinary sanction;


h)         are confined pursuant to a current sentence from another state or the United States; or


i)         are serving a sentence that involved an upward dispositional or durational departure.


2.         Eligible offenders:

a)         must have 13 months or more to their confinement release milestone when they are admitted to CIP;


b)         who are release violators, must complete their terms of reimprisonment before they can be released on Phase II; and


c)         who have previously participated in CIP, must be serving the same obligation they were serving during their previous admission to CIP, must have been incarcerated for at least 60 days before re-applying for CIP, and must be approved for re-admission by the Assistant Commissioner of the Facilities Division.


B.        Admission to CIP

Because CIP is a voluntary program, offenders must apply, undergo eligibility and medical/mental health screening, and complete pre-admission programming requirements.

1.         Application

Offenders may apply either by asking their case manager to submit an application form or by sending a kite to “CIP Intake.”


2.         Eligibility screening

a)         CIP case managers and program directors/captain (CIP review team) review all applications to determine whether offenders meet all eligibility requirements and recommend provisional admission or denial to the CIP director/designee.


b)         The CIP director/designee reviews recommendation and either approves or denies provisional admission in writing to the offender and sends a copy to the offender’s case manager, noting a tentative admission date if provisional admission is approved.  A copy of the provisional admission decision is retained in COMS.


c)         Offenders who are denied admission, except those who have previously participated in CIP, may appeal the decision of the CIP director/designee. Copies of the appeal and decision are retained in COMS.


d)         Offenders who decide they do not want to participate in CIP must notify the case manager, who will complete the CIP Intake Removal form and send the completed form to “CIP Intake.”


e)         Male offenders approved for provisional admission are transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility (MCF) – Moose Lake in sufficient time to complete the subsequent admission procedures; female offenders complete the subsequent admission procedures at MCF-Shakopee.


f)         Copies of all forms and notifications are retained in COMS and retained by the CIP program.


            3.         Medical and mental health screening

a)         Medical and mental health providers evaluate each offender to determine whether the offender will be able to comply with all CIP requirements. Disqualifying conditions include such as examples as:

(1)       an uncontrolled or unstable chronic illness;

(2)       a frequently-occurring acute illness that requires medical or mental health monitoring beyond the resources of CIP; or

(3)       a condition that has a high likelihood of requiring emergent or frequent medical or mental health intervention.


b)         If they determine the offender has a disqualifying condition, medical and mental health providers notify the CIP director/designee in writing that the offender does not currently meet pre-screening eligibility criteria. A copy of the notification is retained in COMS.


4.         Final admission decision

Once all the pre-CIP components are completed, the CIP review team reviews the offender’s admission file. 

a)         If an offender is fully approved for participation in CIP, the offender is notified of admission and the start date.


b)         If an offender is denied admission into the program for medical or mental health reasons or after review by the CIP review team, the denial of entrance may be appealed to the Assistant Commissioner of the Facilities Division.


D.        CIP Phase I

Before offenders receive a certificate of completion for Phase I, the CIP review team must verify that they have fully participated and successfully completed all required program components, and have actively served a minimum of 180 days in Phase I.  Program components include such examples as:

1.         Physical training:  A rigorous physical training program designed to teach personal discipline and improve the offender’s physical and mental well-being.


2.         Education:  Individualized educational programming designed to improve adult basic education skills.


3.         Chemical dependency treatment.


4.         Military bearing, drill and ceremony:  Intensive instruction in military drill and ceremony, military bearing, customs, and courtesy.


5.         Facility work crew or work detail:  A facility work crew assignment or work detail component that includes manual work on campus.


6.         Cognitive behavioral skills programming: Training in cognitive skills development and community transition to assist the offender in developing self-worth and a sense of personal accountability.


7.         Restorative Justice Work Crews (RJWC):  Opportunities to give back to the community while learning work ethics, job skills, and good work habits and attitudes by serving on RJWC.

a)         Non-profit community and government organizations may submit project requests, which will be reviewed and approved by the Safety Administrator and CIP Program Director/Captain annually.


b)         The RJWC sergeant ensures offender training is provided and proper personal protective equipment is used during all work projects.


8.         Team Building:  Offender squads participate in team building exercises that promote pro-social skills, effective problem solving and effective communication.


9.         Squad meetings:  Assigned correctional officers facilitate regularly scheduled squad meetings to discuss current squad issues, effective problem solving and to identify steps being taken to promote positive squad cohesion.


10.       Levels of advancement (indicated by hat colors).


E.         Informal Progressive Sanctions

            During CIP Phase I, offenders are subject to informal discipline for minor behavioral issues and unacceptable program adjustment.  Participants may receive formal discipline according to Offender Discipline Rules (ODZ).  The informal sanctions are based on the CIP philosophy and general orders and designed to provide a broad range of responses to deal with violations of CIP’s informal rules. Staff may implement informal sanctions at any time, including such examples as:

1.         Refocus:  Pushups are assigned to an offender to help the offender refocus after a minor infraction.


2.         Interventions:  A documented interaction between a staff member and an offender that occurred to remedy a below-standard action or behavior, or to acknowledge an above-standard action or behavior.


3.         Thinking Reports:  A written assignment which requires the offender to identify behavior(s) which led to an intervention.  The offender identifies a solution to correct the behavior.


4.         Learning Experiences (LE):  A sanction given to an offender who commits an informal rule infraction.


5.         Hat color hold:  The non-advancement of an offender’s status due to poor motivation, unsatisfactory program participation, unsatisfactory evaluations and/or accumulation and progression of discipline.


6.         Hat color reduction:  The reduction of advancement of an offender’s status due to poor motivation, unsatisfactory program participation, unsatisfactory evaluations and/or accumulation and progression of discipline.


7.         Recycle:  An offender is reduced to the lowest hat color and reviewed weekly for hat advancement due to accumulation of LE’s, Personal Accountability Status, and/or not progressing in the program as required.


8.         Personal Accountability Status (PAS):  A status assigned to an offender for conduct that is not consistent with following the CIP philosophy and commitment to the program.


9.         Revocation:  Removal from the program due to an accumulation of progressive informal sanctions, refusal to participate in programming, termination from chemical dependency treatment, or imposed formal discipline.  Offenders who are revoked are returned to a higher custody facility.


F.         Termination from Phase I

1.         Once admitted to CIP, offenders may be terminated in any of the following ways:  

a)         Rescission –if a change occurs in the offender’s eligibility status (e.g. legal, medical, mental health or other administrative reasons).  Offenders who are rescinded are administratively reviewed for reentry to the program if and when the eligibility issue is resolved.


b)         Revocation –when the offender is unable to complete the program because of a violation of the program agreement.  Offenders who are revoked must be removed from CIP and transferred to the appropriate correctional facility.


c)         Voluntary termination– when the offender voluntarily chooses to discontinue participation in the program.


2.         Terminations, except for voluntary termination, may be appealed to the Assistant Commissioner of the Facilities Division.


3.         Records of any termination are retained in COMS and by the CIP program.


G.        Program Completion and Release to Phase II

During CIP phase I, an offender must work with the offender’s case manager and field services agent in the community of release to develop a release plan.  Upon successful completion of CIP phase I, offenders are transitioned to the community phase of CIP, phase II; see Policy 204.061, “Challenge Incarceration Program – Phase II and III” for information.



A.        A copy of all CIP documentation is retained electronically in COMS and/or the CIP file.


ACA STANDARDS: 1-ABC-2A-03; 1-ABC-3A-28; 1-ABC-3A-29; 1-ABC-3A-31; 1-ABC-3B-01; 1-ABC-3B-02; 1-ABC-3B-03; 1-ABC-3B-04; 1-ABC-3B-05; 1-ABC-3B-06; 1-ABC-3B-11; 1-1BC-3B-12; 1-ABC-4C-06; 1-ABC-4C-09; 1-ABC-4C-10; 1-ABC-4C-12; 1-ABC-4D-01; 1-ABC-4D-02; 1-ABC-4D-03; 1-ABC-49-04; 1-ABC-4E-01; 1-ABC-4E-02; 1-ABC-4E-06; 1-ABC-4E-07; 1-ABC-4E-09; 1-ABC-4E-10; 1-ABC-4E-15; 1-ABC-4E-19; 1-ABC-4E-20; 1-ABC-4E-21; 1-ABC-4E-28; 1-ABC-4E-29; 1-ABC-4E-42; 1-ABC-4E-49


REFERENCES:        Minn. Stat. §§244.17 through 244.172; 609.485; and 243.166

Policy 204.061, “Challenge Incarceration Program – Phase II and III”


REPLACES:              Division Directive 204.060, “Challenge Incarceration Program – Phase I,” 10/17/17.

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





Deputy Commissioner, Facility Services

Deputy Commissioner, Community Services

Assistant Commissioner, Facility Services

Assistant Commissioner, Operations Support