A Detention Officer Lieutenant commands the Hearing Services Section. The Lieutenant is assisted by eleven specially trained and experienced detention Sergeants, and is responsible for reviewing the grievances and complaints submitted by the inmates of the Maricopa County Jail System. The Hearing Sergeants are also responsible for reviewing inmate disciplinary measures, to make sure that the discipline is fair and appropriate, and that inmates are given a chance to be heard in the process.
Inmates may file grievances on any of the conditions of their incarceration. When they do file grievances, it is most commonly on conditions such as their food, where they are housed, what they can receive from the Commissary, their medical care, or what they perceive as restrictive jail rules.
When inmates receive sanctions for disobedience of jail rules, or "discipline", it usually means that they will be placed in restrictive custody for a given number of hours or days, depending upon the severity of the infraction. When they are placed in restrictive custody, inmates may not be able to make phone calls, have visitors, or attend programs. They may also be restricted to their own cell for longer hours in the day, and not be able to socialize with other inmates in the dayroom areas.
The Hearing Section is a multi-functional unit dealing with all aspects of inmate discipline and complaints. The Hearing Officers must remain unbiased, and they must make reasonable determinations on issues ranging from implementing sanctions on inmate disciplinary issues to providing avenues to resolve inmate complaints. The Section ensures that inmates retain their rights of due process while in custody of the Maricopa County Jail System. This helps to extend an open line of communication between inmates and staff, as well as between the various Bureaus and staff members, including the Legal Services Division, Correctional Health Services, Food Services, and Religious Services.
Note: The Hearing Unit is also tasked with maintaining, follow-up and storage of all documentation that pertains to incidents of Detention Use of Force .
Note: The Hearing Unit is also tasked with PREA.