Resources – Preparing for Prison – Prisoner Transfers

Prisoner Transfers

It is not uncommon for inmates to be transferred between Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities. Inmates commonly want to transfer to other facilities in order to be closer to their family, or to simply “break up their time.”

A request for transfer to another facility is not automatically granted. Rather, an inmate will only be approved for transfer in specific circumstances, and then only when the inmate meets the criteria for transfer.

The most common transfer in the BOP is a “nearer release” transfer, which is a transfer to an institution that is closer to an inmate’s release residence. A nearer release transfer will not be approved unless the inmate:

1) is more than 500 “air” miles from his or her release residence; and

2) has been in “a general population” for 18 months with clear conduct

A request for transfer is made by an inmate during his or her regularly scheduled program review. It is often best to communicate the request in writing so as to ensure proper documentation of the request to prison officials. If the inmate’s unit team agrees to request the transfer, then documents will be prepared for the warden’s review and signature. If the Warden approves the request, the transfer request will be submitted to the BOP’s Designation and Sentence Computation Center in Grand Prairie, Texas for final review and consideration.

If the transfer is approved, it can take six weeks or more for the inmate to complete his or her transfer to the new facility.


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