U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Guide to Preparing for and Responding to Prison Emergencies: Self-Audit Checklists, National Survey Results, Resource Materials, Case Studies

NCJ Number
Jeffrey A. Schwartz, Ph.D.; Cynthia Barry, Ph.D.
Date Published
June 2005
318 pages
This document from the National Institute of Corrections is a guide to preparing for and responding to prison emergencies.
This guide was prepared to help local and State correctional agencies improve their preparation for and response to prison emergencies. The guide builds on the self-audit instruments that were part of NIC's 1996 monograph Critical Analysis of Emergency Preparedness: Self-Audit Materials that was designed to help State departments of corrections evaluate their readiness to handle major crisis situations. Information for the guide was obtained through a survey of the country's 50 department of corrections (DOC); 33 agreed to participate in the development of the guide by sending emergency plans, policies, and/or procedures for review. The guide is divided into six main sections: Section 1: Introduction - Background and Development of This Guide; Section 2: Conducting an Audit - Purpose and Philosophy, Preliminary Considerations, and How to Use the Self-Audit Checklists; Section 3: Self-Audit Checklists - Emergency Preparedness Checklist, Natural Disaster/HAZMAT/Fire Self-Audit Checklist, and Counterterrorism Self-Audit Checklist; Section 4: Report on the National Survey of Emergency Readiness in Prisons; Section 5: Resource Materials - Leadership Issues During Crises, Prevention of Prison Emergencies, Emergency Teams, and Prisons and Counterterrorism; and Section 6: Case Studies - seven case studies covering different emergency situations such as fire, a prison riot, flooding, and a hostage situation.