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Reforming Restrictive Housing: The 2018 ASCA-Liman Nationwide Survey of Time-in-Cell

Reforming Restrictive Housing:
The 2018 ASCA-Liman Nationwide Survey
of Time-in-Cell

The Association of State Correctional Administrators
The Liman Center for Public Interest Law
at Yale Law School

October 2018
The Arthur

Liman
Center
Yale Law School

for Public Interest Law at

October 2018

LCY

Reforming Restrictive Housing:
The 2018 ASCA-Liman Nationwide Survey
of Time-in-Cell

The Association of State Correctional Administrators
The Liman Center for Public Interest Law
at Yale Law School

October 2018

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

1

Association
of
State
Correctional
Administrators (ASCA)
ASCA is the most exclusive correctional
association in the world. ASCA members are
the leaders of each U.S. state corrections
agency, Los Angeles County, the District of
Columbia, New York City, Philadelphia, the
Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Military
Correctional Services (Army, Navy, Air Force,
Marines), and United States territories,
possessions, and commonwealths. ASCA
members lead over 400,000 correctional
professionals and supervise approximately
eight million prisoners, probationers, and
parolees. ASCA’s goal is to increase public
safety by utilizing correctional best practices,
accountability, and providing opportunities for
people to change.
The Arthur Liman Center for Public
Interest Law, Yale Law School
The Liman Center was endowed to honor
Arthur Liman, who graduated from Yale Law
School in 1957. Throughout his distinguished
career, he demonstrated how dedicated lawyers,
in both private practice and public life, can
respond to the needs of individuals and of
causes that might otherwise go unrepresented.
The Liman Center, which began as the Liman
Program in 1997, continues the commitments
of Arthur Liman by supporting work, in and
outside of the academy, dedicated to public
service in the furtherance of justice.
Acknowledgements
This report is based on a survey co-authored by
ASCA and the Liman Center at Yale Law
School. The research and report teams were led
at ASCA by Leann Bertsch, Kevin Kempf, Bob
Lampert, Gary Mohr, Rick Raemisch, A.T.
Wall, and Wayne Choinski, and at Yale by
Judith Resnik, Anna VanCleave, Kristen Bell,
and Alexandra Harrington. Yale Law students
Greg Conyers, Catherine McCarthy, Jenny
Tumas, and Annie Wang played major roles in
the research, analysis, and drafting of this
Report. Yale Law students Faith Barksdale,
Stephanie Garlock, and Daniel Phillips
reviewed and edited the final drafts. We also

received helpful suggestions from the Vera
Institute of Justice.
Thanks are due to all the jurisdictions that
responded to the survey and provided
comments and reviews thereafter. This
research has been supported by Yale Law
School, the Liman Center, the Vital Projects
Fund, and the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at
Yale Law School. This monograph was also
made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie
Corporation of New York to Judith Resnik,
who is a 2018–2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.
The Vital Projects Fund, the Ruebhausen Fund,
and Carnegie Foundation are not responsible
for the research and views expressed here.
Special thanks are due to Bonnie Posick of Yale
Law School’s staff for expert editorial advice
and to Elizabeth Keane, Program Coordinator
of the Liman Center.
To download copies of this Report, please visit
the website of the Liman Center at
https://law.yale.edu/centers-workshops/arthur
-liman-center-public-interest-law/liman-center
-publications. The report can also be found on
ASCA’s website at: http://asca.net/documents/.
This Report may be reproduced free of charge
and without the need for additional permission.
All rights reserved, 2018.

Inquiries:
Kevin Kempf
Executive Director, ASCA
kkempf@asca.net
Wayne Choinski
Project Manager, ASCA
wchoinski@asca.net
Judith Resnik
Arthur Liman Professor of Law
Yale Law School
judith.resnik@yale.edu
Anna VanCleave
Liman Center Director
anna.vancleave@yale.edu

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

2

Reforming Restrictive Housing: The 2018 ASCA-Liman
Nationwide Survey of Time-in-Cell
Table of Contents
Executive Summary
I.

UNDERSTANDING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING OVER TIME AND
ACROSS JURISDICTIONS
The ASCA-Liman Research Agenda
The 2017–2018 Survey’s Design and Distribution
Research Challenges and Caveats

II.

7
8
9

THE DATA FROM THE 2017–2018 ASCA-LIMAN SURVEY
The Numbers and Percentages of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing:
Counting and Comparing General and Restrictive Populations
Length of Time in Restrictive Housing
The Demographics of Restrictive Housing
Sex / Gender
Race and Ethnicity
Age
Subpopulations
Prisoners with Mental Health Issues
Pregnant Women
Transgender Prisoners
A Snapshot of Two Jails

III.

4

10
14
17
17
22
36
46
46
55
55
56

REVISING POLICIES ON RESTRICTIVE HOUSING
Entry and Oversight
Time Out-of-Cell, Sociability, and Programming
Staff Training
Release
Implementing the 2016 ACA Restrictive Housing Performance
Based Standards
Evaluating the Effects of Policy Changes
Aspiring for More Time Out-of-Cell

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

60
61
62
62
63
65
65

3

IV.

V.

VI.

WORKING TO LIMIT RESTRICTIVE HOUSING:
FOUR JURISDICTIONS MAKING CHANGES
Colorado Reforms: What Do You Mean “Culture”?
Rick Raemisch, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Corrections

67

Idaho: Efforts to Reform Restrictive Housing
Henry Atencio, Director, Idaho Department of Correction and
Keith Yordy, Warden, Idaho State Correctional Institution

69

Reflections on North Dakota’s Sustained Solitary Confinement Reform
Leann Bertsch, Director, North Dakota Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation

72

Restrictive Housing: The Challenge of Reforming the Fabric of an Agency
Gary Mohr, Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation
and Correction

75

CALLS FOR REFORM AND FOR ABOLITION:
RESTRICTIVE HOUSING IN 2018
Correctional Systems Making Changes
Understanding the Harms of Isolation
Legislative Regulations
Litigation and Consent Decrees
Restrictive Housing as a Global Concern

82
84
87
88
92

COMPARING THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE IN RESTRICTIVE
HOUSING IN 2015–2016 AND IN 2017–2018

95

Endnotes

104

Appendices
Appendix A: ASCA-Liman 2017–2018 Restrictive Housing Survey
Appendix B: This Report’s Tables and Figures
Appendix C: Definitions of “Serious Mental Illness” in 43 Jurisdictions

153
181
184

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

4

Executive Summary
Reforming Restrictive Housing:
The 2018 ASCA-Liman Nationwide Survey of Time-in-Cell
This Report is the fourth in a series of research projects co-authored by the Association of
State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) and the Arthur Liman Center at Yale Law School.
These monographs provide nationwide data on “restrictive housing,” defined in this Report as
separating prisoners from the general population and holding them in their cells for an average of
22 hours or more per day for 15 continuous days or more. This practice is often termed “solitary
confinement.” Reforming Restrictive Housing documents the changes underway as prison
administrators aim to limit the use of segregation and find alternatives to the isolation of restrictive
housing.
In 2013, the first report of the series, Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and
Incarceration, analyzed the restrictive housing policies of 47 jurisdictions. The 2013 Report found
that the criteria for placement in isolation were broad. Getting into segregation was relatively easy,
but few policies addressed release. In contrast, in 2018, directors around the country reported
narrowing the bases for placement in restrictive housing, increasing oversight, and limiting time
spent in isolation. In some places, behaviors that once put people into restrictive housing—from
“horse play” to possession of small amounts of marijuana—no longer do. And for those people in
restrictive housing, efforts are reportedly underway in some jurisdictions to create more out-ofcell time and more group-based activities.
Since 2013, ASCA and the Liman Center have conducted national surveys of the number
of people in restrictive housing. The 2015 report, Time-in-Cell, estimated that 80,000 to 100,000
prisoners were in segregation across the country. The 2016 report, Aiming to Reduce Time-in-Cell,
identified almost 68,000 people held in isolation.
For the 2017–2018 data collection, ASCA-Liman sent surveys to the 50 states, the Federal
Bureau of Prisons (FBOP), the District of Columbia, and four jail systems in large metropolitan
areas. The 43 prison systems that provided data on prisoners in restrictive housing held 80.6% of
the U.S. prison population. They reported that 49,197 individuals—4.5% of the people in their
custody—were in restrictive housing. Across all the reporting jurisdictions, the median percentage
of the population held in restrictive housing was 4.2%; the average was 4.6%. The percentage of
prisoners in restrictive housing ranged from 0.05% to 19%. Extrapolating from these numbers to
the systems not reporting, we estimate that some 61,000 individuals were in isolation in prisons in
the fall of 2017.
Thirty jurisdictions reported when they began to track how long people had been in
restrictive housing. Some jurisdictions began tracking this information as recently as 2017. Within
the responding jurisdictions, most people were held in segregation for a year or less. Twenty-five

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

5

jurisdictions counted more than 3,500 individuals who were held for more than three years. Almost
2,000 of those individuals had been there for more than six years.
The 2017–2018 survey also gathered information about gender, race and ethnicity, and age.
Men were much more likely than women to be in solitary confinement. Black prisoners comprised
a greater percentage of the restrictive housing population than they did the total custodial
population. The reverse was true for White prisoners. Likewise, in the jurisdictions reporting on
ethnicity, Hispanic male prisoners represented a greater percentage of the restrictive housing
population than they did the total custodial population. Prisoners between the ages of 18 and 36
were more likely to be segregated than were older individuals.
Reforming Restrictive Housing also documents the many and varying definitions of
“serious mental illness.” Using each jurisdiction’s own definition, we learned that more than 4,000
people with serious mental illness are in restrictive housing.
Other subpopulations counted were pregnant prisoners and transgender individuals.
Responses indicated a total of 613 pregnant prisoners, none of whom were in restrictive housing.
Prison systems reported incarcerating roughly 2,500 transgender individuals, of whom about 150
were reported to be in segregation.
In addition to the prison systems responding, the jail systems in Los Angeles County and
Philadelphia provided restrictive housing data. In these two systems, the restrictive housing
population ranged from 3.6% to 6.2 % of the total jail population. Both jurisdictions described
revising their restrictive housing policies, including by limiting its use for people with serious
mental illness. One of the jail systems explained that, given the turnover in some jail populations,
the administrators faced challenges in avoiding direct release from restrictive housing into the
community.
The 2018 Report tracks the impact of the 2016 American Correctional Association’s
(ACA) Restrictive Housing Performance Based Standards. Thirty-six prison systems reported
reviewing their policies since the release of the ACA Standards. More than half had implemented
one or more reforms to align with the ACA. Those Standards reflect the national consensus to limit
the use of restrictive housing for pregnant women, juveniles, and seriously mentally ill individuals,
as well as not to use a person’s gender identity as the sole basis for segregation.
In this Report and the related 2018 ASCA-Liman monograph, Efforts in Four Jurisdictions
to Make Changes, the directors of the prison systems in Colorado, Idaho, Ohio, and North Dakota
detail how they were limiting and, in Colorado, abolishing holding people in cells 22 hours or
more for 15 days or more. These individual accounts reflect the broader trend of policy changes.
This Report puts the data collected from the 2017–2018 survey in the context of national
and international actions regulating the use of restrictive housing. Correctional systems around the
country are engaging in targeted efforts to reform their practices of isolating prisoners. Examples

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

6

of such efforts are contained in the Vera Institute of Justice’s 2018 monograph, Rethinking
Restrictive Housing.
In other instances, reforms have come from state legislatures. Some statutes now place
limits on the length of time individuals can be held in segregation, require reviews of placement
decisions, and ban the use of isolation for juveniles and other subpopulations. Litigation has also
resulted in decisions that highlight the harms of restrictive housing and, in some cases, prohibit its
use. Parallel efforts and mandates can be found outside the United States—from implementation
of the Nelson Mandela Rules to litigation and reform through policy changes.
The ASCA-Liman surveys provide a longitudinal database to enable evidence-based
analysis of the practice of holding people in isolation. This Report compares the responses of the
40 prison systems that answered the ASCA-Liman surveys in both 2015 and 2017. In those 40
systems, we learned about 56,000 people in restrictive housing in 2015. The number of prisoners
reported to be in restrictive housing decreased by almost 9,500 to 47,000 people in 2017. The
percentage of individuals in isolation decreased from 5.0% to 4.4%.
The changes are not uniform. In more than two dozen states, the numbers of people in
restrictive housing decreased. In 11 states, the numbers went up. What accounts for the changing
numbers is unclear. Variables include new policies and practices, litigation, legislation,
fluctuations in the overall prison population, and staffing patterns. For example, in 20 of the 29
jurisdictions in which restrictive housing numbers declined, so too did the total prison population.
In two of the 11 jurisdictions that had an increase in restrictive housing numbers, the total prison
population increased as well.
The amount of time spent in restrictive housing is of increasing concern. Not all
correctional systems track length of confinement. Nineteen jurisdictions reported that they began
tracking in 2013 or thereafter. In 31 jurisdictions responding to questions about length of time in
both 2015 and 2017, the number of individuals in restrictive housing for three months or less
increased. The number of people in isolation for longer than three months decreased. The decreases
were greatest for time periods longer than six months.
Correctional administrations’ efforts to reduce the numbers of people in restrictive housing
are part of a larger picture in which legislatures, courts, and other institutions are seeking to limit
holding people in cells 22 hours or more for 15 days or more. These endeavors reflect the national
and international consensus that restrictive housing imposes grave harms on individuals confined,
on staff, and on the communities to which prisoners return. Once solitary confinement was seen
as a solution to a problem. Now prison officials around the United States are finding ways to solve
the problem of restrictive housing.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

7

I. Understanding Restrictive Housing Over Time and Across Jurisdictions
The ASCA-Liman Research Agenda
ASCA and the Liman Center at Yale Law School have worked together on a variety of
projects and seminars related to the interactions among prisoners, correctional departments,
communities, and courts. Research studies have included 50-state surveys of correctional
departments’ policies on visiting incarcerated people 1 and on restrictive housing, and we have
joined together to convene workshops and make presentations at conferences.2
This report is the fourth in a series of ASCA-Liman research projects focused on
“restrictive housing” (known in the general literature as “solitary confinement”), defined in this
report as placing individuals in cells for an average of 22 hours or more per day for 15 continuous
days or more. Our goals have been to gather information and to build a database so that discussions
of these practices are informed by accurate information on the use of restrictive housing that
permits evidence-based analyses of policies and practices.
Over the course of the past several years, ASCA and the Liman Center have asked each of
the correctional departments in the fifty states, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and a few jail
systems to answer survey questions about their populations and to provide policies so as to paint
a composite picture at particular intervals and to have the ability to do longitudinal assessments.
Through surveys every two years, we can learn about changes in the rules governing restrictive
housing and the impact of changes on the people who live and who work in prisons and on the
communities to which prisoners return.
Our first report of the series, Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and
Incarceration: A National Overview of State and Federal Correctional Policies,3 in 2013 was
based on responses from 47 jurisdictions. By analyzing the policies, we learned that criteria for
entry were generally broad, permitting confinement based on nonspecific concerns about “threats
to security.” Staff had broad discretion to determine both the placement and the duration of
confinement.4 Getting in was easy, but few of the policies detailed how individuals were to be
released from isolation, once segregated.5
In 2014, the ASCA-Liman survey asked departments of corrections more than 130
questions about the numbers of people in restrictive housing and the conditions in which they lived.
Our 2015 Time-In-Cell Report provided an overview of the data collected.6 Answers came from
34 jurisdictions, housing 73% of the prison population, where more than 66,000 individuals were
held in various types of restrictive housing. 7 We thus estimated that approximately 80,000 to
100,000 prisoners were in isolation in prison systems across the country.8 The U.S. Department of
Justice relied on the ASCA-Liman research when formulating its rules for federal facilities,9 and
many news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal,10 the New York Times,11 and USA Today,12
discussed the findings.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

8

The 2016 Report, Aiming to Reduce Time-in-Cell, 13 sought updated numbers and
information on the demographics and duration of confinement among prisoners in restrictive
housing. We learned that, as of the fall of 2015, 67,442 people were held in restrictive housing in
48 jurisdictions, which housed about 96% of the United States prison population. 14 Data on
duration of confinement came from a subset of 41 jurisdictions, housing 54,382 people in
segregation.15 Of the people for whom we had duration data, 9,638 or 18% were held in restrictive
housing for 15 to 30 days; 15,725 or 29% for one to three months; 15,978 or 29% for three months
to one year; 7,132 or 13% for one to three years; and 5,909 or 11% were in isolation for three years
or more. 16 As the 2016 Report’s title reflects, several corrections department were changing
policies governing the criteria for placement in restrictive housing, oversight, programs for
prisoners, and pathways to release.17 The 2016 Report was also widely distributed and discussed.18
The 2017–2018 Survey’s Design and Distribution
For the 2017–2018 data collection, a subcommittee of ASCA members and Liman Center
staff worked together to refine the survey questions. Again, we sought to gather information about
the numbers and demographics of people held in restrictive housing, the length of time people
spent in restrictive housing, and whether, how, and why policies governing restrictive housing
were changing. While the questions generally followed their prior format, we had learned that
some inquiries were insufficiently clear, and we identified new topics about which to ask.
For example, because our focus is on the people held in isolation for almost the entire day,
the definition of restrictive housing for the 2016 survey needed to be improved. Instead of defining
restrictive housing as “separating prisoners from the general population and holding them in their
cells for 22 hours per day or more for 15 or more continuous days,”19 we shifted from the “22
hours per day” formulation to “an average of 22 hours.” 20 In addition, because the American
Correctional Association (ACA) adopted new Standards on restrictive housing in August of
2016, 21 we also sought to learn about whether jurisdictions relied on the ACA Standards in
formulating their own policies.
As in the past, ASCA-Liman used a Qualtrics online platform to distribute the survey to
the corrections departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Bureau of
Prisons. In addition, because of the large numbers of individuals detained in jails, we sent surveys
to the four large metropolitan jail systems that are ASCA members.22 Asking 76 questions, we
sought data as of the fall of 2017 from each jurisdiction.23
Responses to at least some of the questions came in the fall of 2017 from 46 of the 52
prison jurisdictions24 and from two of the four major metropolitan area jails;25 materials related to
the two jails are discussed separately. Thereafter, we emailed each jurisdiction a customized
follow-up survey, seeking clarifications of specific responses. Forty-three jurisdictions responded
with information on the total number of people in restrictive housing. According to statistics on
prison populations from the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), those jurisdictions housed about 80
percent of the total prison population.26 Thirty-four jurisdictions completed follow-up surveys. We

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

9

then followed up again via email and telephone calls with jurisdictions from which clarifications
were needed.
Research Challenges and Caveats
As in past reports, the analyses are based on self-reports from each jurisdiction, describing
its population, its policies, and their impact. We did not do site visits or obtain information from
other data sources.27 By way of conclusion, we put the data collected here in context through an
overview of some of the recent research, legislation, and court decisions that are part of national
and international work on restrictive housing.
We remind readers that sketching a national picture is made complex because of variations
across jurisdictions in definitions, the kinds of restrictive housing, and methods of keeping
information. In an effort to standardize answers across jurisdictions, we provided definitions of
restrictive housing, age cohorts, and the like. However, in light of the various definitions used for
identifying individuals with “serious mental illness,” we asked each jurisdiction to provide its own
definition, listed in Appendix C. Further, in many instances we have information from a subset of
jurisdictions, in that some respondents reported that they either did not keep or could not provide
responses to all the inquiries.
Another important reminder is that, while we have gathered more national data than are
otherwise available, we cannot account for all the persons held in restrictive housing. Our materials
come primarily from prison system administrators, and most prison systems do not include jails,
which are often run at the local level, or juvenile facilities. We know that as of midyear 2016,
about 740,700 people were confined in county and city jails in the United States; some of these
detainees were held in isolation.28 As noted, we did send surveys to four major metropolitan jail
systems that are ASCA members. We received information from two, which enabled us to provide
a snapshot of restrictive housing in the jails in Los Angeles and in Philadelphia. We also did not
gather data on restrictive housing in immigration and military facilities. Moreover, some
jurisdictions gave information on less than all of their prison population as of the fall of 2017, and,
in some jurisdictions, large numbers of state prisoners are sent to local jails, to private facilities,
or to other venues about which information on restrictive housing was not available.

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II. The Data from the 2017–2018 ASCA-Liman Survey
The Numbers and Percentages of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing:
Counting and Comparing General and Restrictive Populations
The survey asked jurisdictions to report, as of the fall of 2017, both on their total prison
populations and on the number of prisoners held in restrictive housing. The definition provided of
restrictive housing was “separating prisoners from the general population and holding them in their
cells for an average of 22 or more hours per day for 15 or more continuous days.”29
Of the 46 responding jurisdictions, 43 provided data on both the total custodial population
and the numbers of prisoners in restrictive housing.30 These 43 jurisdictions reported housing a
total of 1,087,671 prisoners, of whom 49,197 were in restrictive housing—or 4.5% of the prisoners
confined across this set.31
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of December 31, 2016, the total state and
federal prison population in the United States was 1,506,757. 32 Using that baseline, the 43
responding jurisdictions housed 80.6% of the total prison population in the United States.
By assuming that the same percentage of prisoners are placed in restrictive housing in the
jurisdictions for which we lack data as those for which we do have data and that the distribution
of prisoners across states was the same in December 2016 and fall 2017, we estimate that
approximately 61,000 prisoners were in restrictive housing across the United States in the fall of
2017.33
One clarification is in order. This Report uses “total custodial population” to refer to the
number of people under each system’s direct control and for whom the jurisdiction provided 2017
restrictive housing data. The 2016 BJS overview used a broader definition that reflected the total
number of people under the legal authority of a prison system. In this report, 43 jurisdictions told
us about 1,087,671 prisoners in their total custodial populations, which is less than the BJS
December 2016 aggregate of those systems. When using the total custodial population as counted
by the 43 jurisdictions, this report describes not 80.6% of the U.S. prison population, but rather
data on 72.2%.
We provide jurisdiction-specific data on the numbers of prisoners in restrictive housing in
Figure 1, Figure 2, and Table 1, below. The numbers are taken from responses to two survey
questions about the restrictive housing population and the total custodial population: “How many
people are in restrictive housing in those facilities?” and “Please provide the total custodial
population under your direct control.” The survey asked about both “short-term restrictive housing,”
(15–29 days) and “extended restrictive housing” (30 or more days). Figure 1, Figure 2, and Table
1 include the sum of both of these forms of restrictive housing. In responses to other questions,
some jurisdictions provided numbers that did not add up to the same totals reflected in the answers
that are the basis for Figure 1. We note such variations in endnotes to the relevant tables and figures.
The percentage of prisoners in restrictive housing—calculated as the number in restrictive
housing divided by the total custodial population reported by each respective jurisdiction—ranged

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

11

from 0.05% to 19.0%. 34 Across all the reporting jurisdictions, the median percentage of the
population held in restrictive housing was 4.2%; the average was 4.6%. To make readily accessible
the numbers on restrictive housing, we provide one figure ordered alphabetically and another
ordered by the percentage of prisoners in restrictive housing.

Figure 1

Percentages of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Jurisdiction
(n = 43)

* A caveat is in order for Figure 1, Figure 2, and Table 1. Responding jurisdictions were not consistent in using our
definition of short-term restrictive housing, 15–29 days, as contrasted with the definition of 1–29 days. Jurisdictions
were asked about both “short-term” and “extended” restrictive housing. Some jurisdictions understood the definition
of “short-term” to refer to 15–29 days, while others understood the definition to refer to 1–29 days. The majority of
jurisdictions were able to clarify their answer after their initial survey response and, if they utilized the 1–29 day
definition, provide the restrictive housing population number consistent with the definition of 15–29 days. We note
with an asterisk those jurisdictions that were unable to clarify which definition they used, as well as Idaho, which used
the definition of 1–29 days.35
** Louisiana counted 14,291 men in its custody in prisons and 20,122 prisoners in local jails. Thus, as of fall 2017,
34,413 individuals were serving prison sentences, and 58.5% of these prisoners were in jails rather than in prisons.
Louisiana reported that 2,709 (19%) of the men in its prisons were in restrictive housing. Louisiana did not provide
restrictive housing data for its female prison population. Louisiana staff identified 784 “restrictive housing beds” in
the jails. The number of beds that were occupied was not reported. If one assumed that all the restrictive housing beds
for state-sentenced prisoners in the jails were full and combined the jail and prison population, the percentage of
people in restrictive housing would go down from 19% to 10.2%. Shaded bars in the figures mark the different
possibilities.

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12

Figure 2

Percentages of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Percentage
(n = 43)*

* See notes to Figure 1

Table 1

Jurisdiction

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas*
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Georgia*
Hawaii
Idaho*
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa

Numbers and Percentages of Men and Women in Restrictive Housing (RH)
by Jurisdiction
(n = 43)*
Total Custodial
Population for
Facilities
Reporting
RH Data36
21,592
4,393
42,146
15,905
18,297
14,137
4,333
153,839
54,723
3,713
7,161
42,177
26,317
8,283

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

Population in
Restrictive
Housing37
855
378
2,723
1,418
10
328
43
7,974
3,200
13
310
921
1,741
167

Percentage in
Restrictive Housing
4.0%
8.6%
6.5%
8.9%
0.1%
2.3%
1.0%
5.2%
5.8%
0.4%
4.3%
2.2%
6.6%
2.0%

13

Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana**
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total
* See notes to Figure 1

9,886
12,000
14,291
21,785
9,047
39,858
12,940
33,204
1,769
5,178
13,718
19,368
7,047
50,764
37,259
1,830
49,954
26,895
14,574
46,920
2,852
19,938
3,927
22,160
145,409
6,293
17,046
22,589
2,154
1,087,671

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

459
408
2,709
1,417
443
903
529
2,990
113
328
810
1,011
294
2,666
1,109
8
1,282
1,368
938
1,498
76
737
90
1,181
4,272
296
387
713
81
49,197

4.6%
3.4%
19.0%
6.5%
4.9%
2.3%
4.1%
9.0%
6.4%
6.3%
5.9%
5.2%
4.2%
5.3%
3.0%
0.4%
2.6%
5.1%
6.4%
3.2%
2.7%
3.7%
2.3%
5.3%
2.9%
4.7%
2.3%
3.2%
3.8%
4.5%

14

Length of Time in Restrictive Housing
The survey asked jurisdictions about how many prisoners were held in-cell for different
lengths of time. The intervals ran from 15–30 days to six years or more. Answers came from 36
jurisdictions that, in total, held 41,061 prisoners in restrictive housing.
More than a fifth (9,345 or 22.8%) of those prisoners were in restrictive housing for 15
days to one month. Almost 32% (12,968 people or 31.6%) were in restrictive housing for one to
three months. About a quarter (11,055 or 26.9%) were in restrictive housing for three months to a
year. Almost 10% (3,972 or 9.7%) were held for one to three years. The responses identified 3,721
people (9.1% of 41,061 people) were held for more than three years. Of that number, 1,950 were
reported to have been in restrictive housing for more than six years.
The survey also asked whether jurisdictions “regularly gather, collect, or report information
on each prisoner’s length of stay in restrictive housing.” Forty-five jurisdictions answered this
question,38 and 37 reported collecting data individually, in aggregate, or grouped by reason for
placement or by another measure.39 Eight jurisdictions reported that they do not regularly track
information on length of stay,40 yet some of this subgroup supplied numbers for the fall of 2017.41
Thus, the data on length of stay come both from jurisdictions that reported tracking length
of stay regularly and from a few that did not. In addition, some jurisdictions have begun to keep
such data in more recent years, and hence their numbers may reflect the time period for which they
have gathered the data, rather than the actual length of time that individuals were held in restrictive
housing.42 The length-of-time intervals are reported in Figure 3 below and by jurisdiction in Table
2. Table 3 details responses from thirty jurisdictions providing information on when they began to
collect length-of-time data, which may or may not include retrospective information.
Figure 3

Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Length of Time

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

(n = 36)

15

Table 2

Numbers of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Length of Time and
by Jurisdiction
(n = 36)43

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Colorado
Delaware
FBOP
Hawaii
Illinois44
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

15 Days up
to One
Month

One up to
Three
Months

Three up
to Six
Months

Six up to
Twelve
Months

One up
to Three
Years

Three up
to Six
Years

Six Years
Plus

222
72
428
10
5
1,764
23
335
131
56
176
671
332
76
256
399
1,122
8
19
150
757
602
3
226
384
126
305
31
138
18
110
141
2
5
221
21
9,345

355
78
831
0
25
3,690
0
342
348
98
207
130
630
118
409
69
842
34
94
398
1,218
205
4
288
481
291
517
23
207
6
276
263
33
82
345
31
12,968

166
50
433
0
6
1,382
9
122
281
10
61
45
449
50
171
40
215
30
102
178
416
280
2
243
224
152
252
13
105
10
237
326
232
107
91
25
6,515

65
25
462
0
7
609
0
136
354
3
15
14
445
28
50
12
229
24
81
100
182
21
0
271
156
41
126
5
131
16
280
474
29
106
41
2
4,540

41
31
489
0
0
254
0
113
391
0
0
1
517
31
16
7
80
11
32
79
73
1
0
183
106
30
106
4
102
21
244
931
0
64
13
1
3,972

1
0
72
0
0
120
0
34
121
0
0
0
346
5
1
1
20
6
1
36
13
0
0
49
17
7
41
0
12
12
31
811
0
11
2
1
1,771

5
0
8
0
0
155
0
16
115
0
0
0
0
4
0
1
2
0
3
70
7
0
0
22
0
1
151
0
42
7
3
1,326
0
12
0
0
1,950

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

16

Table 3

Years When Tracking Length of Time in Restrictive Housing
Began in Thirty Jurisdictions*
Year that Jurisdiction
Began Tracking
1985
1990
1991
1993
1999
2000
2006
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014

2015

2016

2017

Jurisdiction
Colorado
Nevada
Kansas
Alabama
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Kentucky
Iowa
Connecticut
Wisconsin
Pennsylvania
FBOP
Hawaii
Louisiana
New York
South Dakota
Maryland
Montana
North Dakota
Texas
Washington
Wyoming
Nebraska
New Jersey
Rhode Island
South Carolina
Delaware
Massachusetts
Oregon
Utah

*Information was not provided on whether, when the tracking began, data included retrospective analysis.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

17

The Demographics of Restrictive Housing
As in prior reports, we sought to learn about the people placed in restrictive housing in
terms of their sex/gender, race, and age, and whether they were identified as having serious mental
illness. Below, we provide a composite picture drawn from the jurisdictions that responded about
the populations under their direct control. Once again, we note when jurisdictions provided data
that varied from the questions posed.
Sex/Gender
Thirty-four jurisdictions provided data on men in restrictive housing and 32 of those
systems did so for women. As shown in Figure 4 below, 4.6% of the total male custodial population
was in restrictive housing, and 1.2% of the total female custodial population was in restrictive
housing in these jurisdictions.
Figure 4

Percent of Total Population in Restrictive Housing by Gender
(Male: n = 34; Female: n = 32)

Figure 5, Figure 6, and Table 4 provide jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction information about the
number of men in restrictive housing. Across the 34 jurisdictions providing data about the numbers
of men, a total of 37, 690 men were reported in restrictive housing. The median percentage of male
prisoners in restrictive housing was 4.2%. The percentage held in restrictive housing ranged from
19% of the male custodial population (2,709 out of 14,291 male prisoners) to under 0.1% (10 out
of 16,624 male prisoners).45 To make the information readily accessible, Figure 5 and Figure 6
provide the same information, arranged alphabetically and then in decreasing order of the
percentage of the male custodial population in restrictive housing.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

18

Figure 5

Percentage of Male Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Jurisdiction*
(n = 34)

Figure 6

Percentage of Male Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Percentage *
(n = 34)

* As discussed in the notes to Figure 1, the bar for Louisiana represents two different calculations for Louisiana’s
percentage of male prisoners in restrictive housing,.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

19

Table 4

Number and Percentage of Male Custodial Population in Restrictive Housing
(n = 34) 46

Jurisdiction
Alabama
Alaska
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

Total Custodial
Population
20,282
3,990
16,624
13,182
4,100
142,762
39,767
23,847
7,578
20,427
14,291
20,723
8,459
12,038
4,762
12,434
18,594
6,306
48,407
34,326
1,606
45,796
23,816
13,302
44,300
2,722
18,483
3,402
20,214
133,229
5,822
15,744
21,050
1,894
824,279

Restrictive Housing
Population
852
378
10
403
43
7,873
1,510
1,923
159
951
2,709
1,536
420
504
389
751
1,143
273
2,630
1,076
9
1,273
1,349
1,003
1,492
76
718
89
546
4,176
277
407
661
81
37,690

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

Percentage in
Restrictive Housing
4.2%
9.5%
0.1%
3.1%
1.1%
5.5%
3.8%
8.1%
2.1%
4.7%
19.0%
7.4%
5.0%
4.2%
8.2%
6.0%
6.2%
4.3%
5.4%
3.1%
0.6%
2.8%
5.7%
7.5%
3.4%
2.8%
3.9%
2.6%
2.7%
3.1%
4.8%
2.6%
3.1%
4.3%
4.2% (Median)

20

Among the 32 jurisdictions that provided data about the number of women in restrictive
housing, a total of 790 women were reported in isolation. The median percentage of female
prisoners in restrictive housing in responding jurisdictions was 1.1%. The percentage held in
restrictive housing ranged from 4.6% of the female custodial population (59 out of 1,280 female
prisoners) to 0% of the female custodial population.47 Jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction information is
provided in Figure 7 and Figure 8, arranged by jurisdiction and by percentages, and in Table 5.
Figure 7

Percentage of Female Prisoners in Restrictive Housing By Jurisdiction
(n = 32)

Figure 8

Percentage of Female Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Percentage
(n = 32)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

21

Table 5

Number and Percentage of Female Custodial Population in
Restrictive Housing

Jurisdiction
Alabama
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

Total Custodial
Population
1,310
1,673
955
233
11,077
2,410
2,470
705
3,139
1,062
588
902
416
1,280
774
741
2,357
2,933
224
4,158
3,079
1,272
2,620
130
1,455
525
1,946
12,180
471
1,302
1,539
260
66,186

Restrictive Housing
Population
3
0
3
0
101
50
48
8
64
31
23
25
8
59
30
21
36
33
0
9
19
28
6
0
19
1
9
93
5
2
52
4
790

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

(n = 32) 48

Percentage in
Restrictive Housing
0.2%
0.0%
0.3%
0.0%
0.9%
2.1%
1.9%
1.1%
2.0%
2.9%
3.9%
2.8%
1.9%
4.6%
3.9%
2.8%
1.5%
1.1%
0.0%
0.2%
0.6%
2.2%
0.2%
0.0%
1.3%
0.2%
0.5%
0.8%
1.1%
0.2%
3.4%
1.5%
1.1% (Median)

22

Race and Ethnicity
The survey asked about race and ethnicity data by sex/gender for the total custodial and
the restrictive housing populations. Thirty-three jurisdictions responded to questions about the
racial and ethnic composition of male prisoners in restrictive housing, and 32 jurisdictions
responded to questions about race and ethnicity among female prisoners in restrictive housing.
Figure 9 and Figure 10 describe the number of prisoners by sex/gender in each racial group in the
total custodial population and in restrictive housing.
We asked jurisdictions about the categories of White, Black (African-American), Hispanic
or Latino, Asian, Native American or Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and
Other. Table 6 details the number of jurisdictions that used each category. Endnotes explain the
differences when jurisdictions varied their categories.49 As detailed, some jurisdictions relied on
self-reports, and others categorized individuals based on correctional records or on appearance.50
Table 6

Number of Jurisdictions Reporting on Racial or Ethnic Groups
(n = 33)

Category
White
Black (African-American)
Hispanic or Latino
Asian
Native American or Alaskan Native
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Other

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

Number of Jurisdictions
33
33
32
30
29
16
25

23

Figure 9

Racial and Ethnic Composition of Male Prisoners in Total Custodial
Population and in Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 33)

Figure 10

Racial and Ethnic Composition of Female Prisoners in Total Custodial
Population and in Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 32)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

24

Among the 33 jurisdictions reporting on race and ethnicity among male prisoners in the
total custodial population and in restrictive housing, Black men comprised 46.1% of the male
restrictive housing population, as compared to 42.5% of the total male custodial population in
those jurisdictions. In 24 of the 33 jurisdictions reporting on the racial composition of male
prisoners in the total custodial population and in restrictive housing, the male restrictive housing
population had a greater percentage of Black prisoners than did the total male custodial population
in each of those jurisdictions. In 9 of the 33 jurisdictions, the male restrictive housing population
had a lower percentage of Black prisoners than did the total male custodial population in each of
those jurisdictions. Across all jurisdictions, the difference between the percentage of the male
restrictive housing population that was Black and the percentage of the total male custodial
population that was Black ranged from +14.5 percentage points to -9.4 percentage points. Figure
11 maps those spreads in the 31 jurisdictions where 25 or more people were reported in restrictive
housing.
One of the 33 reporting jurisdictions did not use “Hispanic” as a racial category.51 Among
the remaining 32, Hispanic male prisoners comprised 18.7% of the male restrictive housing
population, as compared to 17.2% of the total male custodial population. In 17 of the 32 reporting
jurisdictions, the male restrictive housing population had a greater percentage of Hispanic
prisoners than did the total male custodial population in each of those jurisdictions. In 14 of the 32
jurisdictions, the male restrictive housing population had a lower percentage of Hispanic prisoners
than did the total male custodial population in each of those jurisdictions. In one jurisdiction, the
percentage was the same.
Across all jurisdictions, the difference between the percentage of the male restrictive
housing population that was Hispanic and the percentage of the total male custodial population
that was Hispanic ranged from +15.8 percentage points to -3.8 percentage points. Figure 12 maps
those spreads in the 30 jurisdictions where 25 or more people were reported in restrictive housing.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

25

Figure 11

Differences in Restrictive Housing and Total Male Custodial Population for
Black Male Prisoners
(n = 31)*

*The jurisdictions included in this graph reported more than 25 people in restrictive housing.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

26

Figure 12

Differences in Restrictive Housing and Total Male Custodial Population for
Hispanic Male Prisoners
(n = 30)*

*The jurisdictions included in this graph reported more than 25 people in restrictive housing.

In 29 of the 33 reporting jurisdictions, the male restrictive housing population contained a
smaller percentage of White prisoners than the total male custodial population. As detailed below,
jurisdictions reported a small percentage of Asian, Native American or Alaskan Native, and Native
Hawaiian or Pacific Islander prisoners in their general prison populations and a similarly small
percentage in their populations in restrictive housing.52 Those categorized as “Other” appeared to
be comparable in percentages in the general and in the restrictive housing populations. Given the
small numbers of individuals, we do not provide details.
Table 7 lists by jurisdiction and by race/ethnicity the number of male prisoners in the
general population and in restrictive housing. Table 8 compares the percentages by race and
ethnicity of all male prisoners and of those in restrictive housing.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

27

Table 7

Demographic Composition of Total Male Custodial Population and Male Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 33) 53

White

Black

Total Custodial Population
Am.
Hisp.
Asian
NHPI
Ind.

Other

Alabama

8,115

12,033

Colorado

7,489

3,025

5,396

190

523

Connecticut

3,970

5,563

3,554

57

38

Delaware

1,408

2,516

169

5

0

FBOP

41,116

57,914

38,629

1,902

3,201

Illinois

11,505

22,827

5,228

142

0

43

Indiana

14,070

8,553

1,026

59

12

41

4,890

2,000

500

60

Kentucky

15,063

4,760

312

Louisiana

10,393

22,420

81

38

0

21

Maryland

4,702

14,829

753

59

9

98

Massachusetts

3,618

2,356

2,245

121

0

Mississippi

3,922

7,976

105

20

Nebraska

2,469

1,363

657

36

Nevada

5,117

3,939

2,768

342

New Jersey

3,801

11,489

2,908

113

New Mexico

1,560

544

3,679

New York

11,337

23,561

North Carolina

12,841

North Dakota

Total

White

Black

Restrictive Housing Population
Am.
Hisp.
Asian
NHPI
Ind.

852

0

0

10

1

0

69

1

0

0

43

2,269

64

277

1,065

181

3

0

1

3

1,510

1,131

663

110

3

2

5

9

1,923

7,578

67

65

22

3

20,464

698

228

14

32,953

569

2,126

8

4

273

20,723

400

965

56

56

63

8,459

149

132

126

14

1

12,038

166

335

2

196

36

4,762

174

113

75

1

219

49

12,434

302

251

155

18

1

7

275

18,594

245

701

171

5

13

18

447

35

6,296

50

23

189

11,979

236

0

397

897

48,407

476

1,451

625

6

18,729

1,683

93

980

34,326

279

715

28

1

1,063

160

99

7

273

4

1,606

4

1

Ohio

22,765

21,378

1,263

60

71

259

45,796

509

725

28

2

Oklahoma

12,545

6,677

1,905

71

23

2,555

40

23,816

547

454

128

2

9,804

1,245

1,713

196

4

339

1

13,302

697

128

119

Pennsylvania

17,995

21,460

4,536

118

27

164

44,300

489

820

Rhode Island

1,083

831

715

44

19

30

2,722

28

29

Oregon

20,268

240

611

1

16,624

2

2

6

0

0

13,182

15

37

16

0

0

4,100

17

23

2

142,762

2,126

3,137

22

39,767

257

86

23,847

Total

1

Iowa

120

Other

2

128
11

5

0

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

318

7,873

2

159

1

10

951

0

2

0

2,709

2

1

6

83

1,513

9

0

1

3

420

1
0

1

0

504

23

3

389

22

3

751

0

20

1,143

9

2

273

21

51

2,630

53

1076

4

9

2

7

1,273

5

210

3

1,349

13

1

45

0

1,003

171

5

0

0

7

1,492

18

1

0

0

0

76

28
South Carolina

6,338

11,534

438

26

1

21

125

18,483

207

498

7

1

0

0

5

718

South Dakota

1,944

294

125

17

2

1,015

5

3,402

34

6

4

0

0

44

1

89

Tennessee

10,659

9,007

457

66

0

25

0

20,214

288

245

11

2

Texas

41,571

45,170

45,734

453

0

97

204

133,229

1,051

1,023

2,094

7

0

1

Utah

3,665

413

1,176

62

118

291

97

5,822

110

27

95

3

12

24

6

277

Washington

9,210

2,977

2,091

647

699

150

15,774

208

58

105

14

19

3

407

Wisconsin

9,392

8,806

1,879

234

719

10

21,040

197

370

61

4

0

29

0

661

Wyoming

1,413

106

248

5

0

122

0

1,894

40

14

9

0

0

14

0

77

316,833

356,455

144,051

5,258

427

11,713

4,247

838,984

11,772

17,041

6,905

174

22

764

273

36,951

Total

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

546
4,176

29

Table 8

Demographic Percentage Composition of Total Male Custodial Population and Male Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 33)
Total Custodial Population
White

Black

Hisp.

Asian

NHPI

Restrictive Housing Population
Am. Ind.

Alabama

40.0%

59.4%

Colorado

45.0%

18.2%

32.5%

1.1%

3.1%

Connecticut

30.1%

42.2%

27.0%

0.4%

0.3%

Delaware

34.3%

61.4%

4.1%

0.1%

0.0%

FBOP

28.8%

40.6%

27.1%

1.3%

2.2%

Illinois

28.9%

57.4%

13.1%

0.4%

0.0%

0.1%

Indiana

59.0%

35.9%

4.3%

0.2%

0.1%

0.2%

Iowa

64.5%

26.4%

6.6%

0.8%

Kentucky

73.6%

23.3%

1.5%

Louisiana

31.5%

68.0%

0.2%

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

Maryland

22.7%

71.6%

3.6%

0.3%

0.0%

0.5%

Massachusetts

42.8%

27.9%

26.5%

1.4%

0.0%

Mississippi

32.6%

66.3%

0.9%

0.2%

Nebraska

51.8%

28.6%

13.8%

0.8%

Nevada

41.2%

31.7%

22.3%

2.8%

New Jersey

20.4%

61.8%

15.6%

0.6%

New Mexico

24.8%

8.6%

58.4%

New York

23.4%

48.7%

North Carolina

37.4%

North Dakota

Other

White

Black

Hisp.

Asian

NHPI

Am. Ind.

Other

0.6%

28.2%

71.7%

0.0%

20.0%

20.0%

60.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

21.7%

53.6%

23.2%

0.0%

0.0%

1.4%

0.0%

39.5%

53.5%

4.7%

2.3%

0.0%

0.0%

27.0%

39.8%

28.8%

0.8%

3.5%

0.1%

17.0%

70.5%

12.0%

0.2%

0.0%

0.1%

0.2%

0.4%

58.8%

34.5%

5.7%

0.2%

0.1%

0.3%

0.5%

42.1%

40.9%

13.8%

1.9%

73.4%

24.0%

1.5%

21.0%

78.5%

0.3%

0.1%

1.3%

26.4%

63.8%

3.7%

0.7%

0.7%

35.5%

31.4%

30.0%

0.1%

0.0%

32.9%

66.5%

0.4%

4.1%

0.8%

44.7%

29.0%

19.3%

0.3%

1.8%

0.4%

40.2%

33.4%

20.6%

2.4%

0.0%

0.0%

1.5%

21.4%

61.3%

15.0%

0.4%

0.2%

0.3%

7.1%

0.6%

18.3%

8.4%

69.2%

24.7%

0.5%

0.0%

0.8%

1.9%

18.1%

55.2%

23.8%

0.2%

54.6%

4.9%

0.3%

2.9%

25.9%

66.4%

2.6%

0.1%

66.2%

10.0%

6.2%

0.4%

17.0%

0.2%

44.4%

11.1%

Ohio

49.7%

46.7%

2.8%

0.1%

0.2%

0.6%

40.0%

57.0%

2.2%

0.2%

Oklahoma

52.7%

28.0%

8.0%

0.3%

0.1%

10.7%

0.2%

40.5%

33.7%

9.5%

0.1%

Oregon

73.7%

9.4%

12.9%

1.5%

0.0%

2.5%

0.0%

69.5%

12.8%

11.9%

Pennsylvania

40.6%

48.4%

10.2%

0.3%

0.1%

0.4%

32.8%

55.0%

Rhode Island

39.8%

30.5%

26.3%

1.6%

0.7%

1.1%

36.8%

38.2%

0.0%

1.7%
0.1%

0.1%

0.0%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

1.6%

0.1%

1.3%
0.1%

1.1%

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

0.4%

5.5%

2.1%

0.0%

0.2%

0.7%

0.2%
0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

5.9%

0.8%

2.9%

0.4%

0.0%

1.7%

3.3%

0.7%

0.8%

1.9%
4.9%

44.4%
0.2%

0.5%

0.4%

15.6%

0.2%

1.3%

0.1%

4.5%

0.0%

11.5%

0.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.5%

23.7%

1.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

30
South Carolina

34.3%

62.4%

2.4%

0.1%

0.0%

0.1%

0.7%

28.8%

69.4%

1.0%

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.7%

South Dakota

57.1%

8.6%

3.7%

0.5%

0.1%

29.8%

0.1%

38.2%

6.7%

4.5%

0.0%

0.0%

49.4%

1.1%

Tennessee

52.7%

44.6%

2.3%

0.3%

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

52.7%

44.9%

2.0%

0.4%

Texas

31.2%

33.9%

34.3%

0.3%

0.0%

0.1%

0.2%

25.2%

24.5%

50.1%

0.2%

0.0%

0.0%

Utah

63.0%

7.1%

20.2%

1.1%

2.0%

5.0%

1.7%

39.7%

9.7%

34.3%

1.1%

4.3%

8.7%

2.2%

Washington

58.4%

18.9%

13.3%

4.1%

4.4%

1.0%

51.1%

14.3%

25.8%

3.4%

4.7%

0.7%

Wisconsin

44.6%

41.9%

8.9%

1.1%

3.4%

0.0%

29.8%

56.0%

9.2%

0.6%

0.0%

4.4%

0.0%

Wyoming

74.6%

5.6%

13.1%

0.3%

0.0%

6.4%

0.0%

51.9%

18.2%

11.7%

0.0%

0.0%

18.2%

0.0%

41.2%

35.9%

11.6%

0.4%

0.0%

0.7%

0.4%

35.5%

39.8%

11.9%

0.3%

0.0%

0.6%

0.5%

Median

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

31

Thirty-two jurisdictions provided data about race and ethnicity among women in restrictive
housing. As with the male restrictive housing population, the percentage of Black female prisoners
among all female prisoners in restrictive housing (39.8%) was higher than the percentage of Black
female prisoners among all female prisoners in the total custodial population (22.8%). In 19 of the
32 reporting jurisdictions, the female restrictive housing population contained a greater percentage
of Black prisoners in restrictive housing than were in the total female custodial population. In 13
of the 32 jurisdictions, the female restrictive housing population had a lower percentage of Black
prisoners than did the total female custodial population.
One of the 32 reporting jurisdictions did not use “Hispanic” as a racial category.54 Among
the remaining 31, Hispanic prisoners comprised 11.6% of the female restrictive housing population,
as compared to 14.3% of the total female custodial population. In 14 of the 31 reporting
jurisdictions, the female restrictive housing population contained a greater percentage of Hispanic
prisoners than the total female custodial population. In 17 jurisdictions, the female restrictive
housing population had a lower percentage of Hispanic prisoners than did the total female custodial
population.
In 24 of the 32 reporting jurisdictions, the female restrictive housing population contained
a smaller percentage of White prisoners than the total female custodial population. The percentages
of other ethnicities were small and roughly comparable in both general and restrictive housing
populations. Figure 10 provides an overview of these numbers, and Table 9 and Table 10 provide
information by jurisdiction. Because in many jurisdictions the total number of women in restrictive
housing is under 25, we do not display pictorially the relative differences across jurisdictions.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

32

Table 9

Demographic Composition of Total Female Custodial Population and Female Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 32) 55
Total Custodial Population
Am.
Hisp.
Asian
NHPI
Ind.

White

Black

Alabama

909

414

Colorado

925

196

462

16

73

Connecticut

520

240

184

7

4

Delaware

135

91

5

1

1

FBOP

4,365

2,462

3,667

237

346

Illinois

1,243

920

189

16

0

16

Indiana

2,016

367

49

4

2

9

538

109

34

0

0

24

Kentucky

2,875

207

18

Maryland

484

539

12

3

Massachusetts

397

90

49

1

Mississippi

536

357

3

3

Nebraska

267

79

40

1

Nevada

757

303

148

44

New Jersey

277

376

101

10

New Mexico

222

45

410

New York

1,149

812

North
Carolina

1,977

Iowa

Restrictive Housing Population
Am.
Hisp.
Asian
NHPI
Ind.

Other

Total

White

Black

1

1,324

1

2

1

1,673

0

0

0

0

955

0

3

2

0

233

0

0

0

11,077

36

37

26

2,410

14

23

2,470

0

Other

Total

0

3

0

0

0

0

0

5

0

0

0

0

25

0

3

34

1

1

0

0

0

50

32

15

0

0

0

0

1

48

705

6

1

1

0

2

38

3,140

51

11

1

0

6

18

1,062

12

17

0

0

0

0

51

588

16

2

4

0

2

1

902

8

17

22

6

416

1

3

1

0

23

5

1,280

25

24

9

0

1

0

9

774

9

20

1

0

1

0

57

6

741

7

1

12

323

13

0

21

39

2,357

21

10

5

0

814

52

6

84

2,933

13

19

0

0

132

11

5

0

76

0

224

0

0

0

0

Ohio

3,093

1,014

34

9

3

5

4,158

3

6

0

0

Oklahoma

1,892

451

163

5

7

553

8

3,079

4

6

2

0

Oregon

1,077

84

50

23

0

38

0

1,272

24

3

0

Pennsylvania

1,660

734

187

11

13

15

2,620

4

1

1

North Dakota

1

0

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

0

101

0

8

0

1

64

0

0

2

31

0

0

1

23
25

0

0

1

2

8

1

0

59

0

0

30

1
0

0

36

1

33

0

0

0

0

0

9

0

7

0

19

0

0

1

0

28

0

0

0

0

6

0

0

21

33

Rhode Island

83

23

17

1

3

3

130

0

0

0

0

South
Carolina

939

471

27

0

South Dakota

243

10

16

Tennessee

1,491

423

Texas

6,219

Utah
Washington

0

6

12

1455

11

8

0

0

3

0

252

1

525

1

0

0

0

19

5

0

8

0

1,946

7

1

1

2,985

2,915

31

0

18

12

12,180

20

51

22

0

0

0

341

18

60

3

13

30

6

471

4

0

1

0

0

0

820

131

190

52

97

12

1,302

1

Wisconsin

1,033

325

39

19

122

1

1,539

23

22

2

0

0

5

0

52

Wyoming

205

4

26

2

0

23

0

260

1

1

0

0

0

2

0

4

38,820

15,105

9,494

508

43

1,848

383

66,201

355

315

92

1

0

21

8

792

Total

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

0

0

0

0

0

0

19

0

0

0

1
9
93

0

1

5
2

34

Table 10

Demographic Percentage Composition of Total Female Custodial Population and Female Restrictive
Housing Population
(n = 32)
Total Custodial Population
White

Black

Hisp.

Asian

NHPI

Restrictive Housing Population
Am. Ind.

Alabama

68.7%

31.3%

Colorado

55.3%

11.7%

27.6%

1.0%

4.4%

Connecticut

54.5%

25.1%

19.3%

0.7%

0.4%

Delaware

57.9%

39.1%

2.1%

0.4%

0.4%

FBOP

39.4%

22.2%

33.1%

2.1%

3.1%

Illinois

51.6%

38.2%

7.8%

0.7%

0.0%

0.7%

Indiana

81.6%

14.9%

2.0%

0.2%

0.1%

0.4%

Iowa

76.3%

15.5%

4.8%

0.0%

0.0%

3.4%

Kentucky

91.6%

6.6%

0.6%

Maryland

45.6%

50.8%

1.1%

0.3%

Massachusetts

67.5%

15.3%

8.3%

0.2%

Mississippi

59.4%

39.6%

0.3%

0.3%

Nebraska

64.2%

19.0%

9.6%

0.2%

Nevada

59.1%

23.7%

11.6%

3.4%

New Jersey

35.8%

48.6%

13.0%

1.3%

New Mexico

30.0%

6.1%

55.3%

New York

48.7%

34.5%

North Carolina

67.4%

North Dakota

Other

White

Black

Hisp.

Asian

0.1%

33.3%

66.7%

0.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

60.0%

40.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

35.6%

36.6%

1.1%

28.0%

0.9%

0.0%

NHPI

Am. Ind.

Other
0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

24.8%

0.0%

3.0%

68.0%

2.0%

2.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

66.7%

31.2%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

2.1%

75.0%

12.5%

12.5%

0.0%
0.0%

1.6%

0.0%

0.1%

1.2%

79.7%

17.2%

1.6%

0.0%

0.6%

1.7%

38.7%

54.8%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

6.5%

0.0%

0.0%

8.7%

69.6%

8.7%

17.4%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

4.3%

0.2%

0.1%

32.0%

68.0%

5.3%

1.4%

12.5%

37.5%

12.5%

0.0%

0.0%

12.5%

25.0%

1.8%

0.4%

42.4%

40.7%

15.3%

0.0%

1.7%

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

1.2%

30.0%

66.7%

3.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.1%

0.0%

7.7%

0.8%

33.3%

4.8%

57.1%

13.7%

0.6%

0.0%

0.9%

1.7%

58.3%

27.8%

13.9%

0.0%

27.8%

1.8%

0.2%

2.9%

39.4%

57.6%

0.0%

0.0%

58.9%

4.9%

2.2%

0.0%

33.9%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Ohio

74.4%

24.4%

0.8%

0.2%

0.1%

0.1%

33.3%

66.7%

0.0%

0.0%

Oklahoma

61.4%

14.6%

5.3%

0.2%

0.2%

18.0%

0.3%

21.1%

31.6%

10.5%

0.0%

Oregon

84.7%

6.6%

3.9%

1.8%

0.0%

3.0%

0.0%

85.7%

10.7%

0.0%

Pennsylvania

63.4%

28.0%

7.1%

0.4%

0.5%

0.6%

66.7%

16.7%

16.7%

0.2%

0.0%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

0.0%

4.8%
0.0%

0.0%

0.0%
3.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

36.8%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

3.6%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

35

Rhode Island

63.8%

17.7%

13.1%

0.8%

2.3%

2.3%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

South Carolina

64.5%

32.4%

1.9%

0.0%

South Dakota

46.3%

1.9%

3.0%

Tennessee

76.6%

21.7%

Texas

51.1%

Utah

0.0%

0.4%

0.8%

57.9%

42.1%

0.0%

0.0%

0.6%

0.0%

48.0%

0.2%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

1.0%

0.3%

0.0%

0.4%

0.0%

77.8%

11.1%

11.1%

24.5%

23.9%

0.3%

0.0%

0.1%

0.1%

21.5%

54.8%

72.4%

3.8%

12.7%

0.6%

2.8%

6.4%

1.3%

80.0%

0.0%

Washington

63.0%

10.1%

14.6%

4.0%

7.5%

0.9%

50.0%

Wisconsin

67.1%

21.1%

2.5%

1.2%

7.9%

0.1%

44.2%

42.3%

Wyoming

78.8%

1.5%

10.0%

0.8%

0.0%

8.8%

0.0%

25.0%

63.2%

21.4%

7.1%

0.4%

0.0%

1.4%

0.6%

37.2%

Median

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

23.7%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

20.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

3.8%

0.0%

0.0%

9.6%

0.0%

25.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

50.0%

0.0%

31.2%

3.6%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

50.0%

36

Age
The question of the placement of juveniles, variously defined as from under 18 to under
24, has come to the fore in a variety of contexts. For example, the ACA has called for the
prohibition of confinement of persons under the age of 18. 56 The elderly incarcerated are yet
another locus of concern.
To understand the age distribution in restrictive housing, we asked jurisdictions to provide
information about the age of prisoners in cohorts ranging from under 18 to over 50. We sought to
understand the distribution of age cohorts within restrictive housing populations as well as in the
total custodial population. Thirty-four jurisdictions responded with the numbers of male prisoners
in the respective age cohorts, and 32 jurisdictions provided the numbers of female prisoners.
The 34 responding jurisdictions housed a total of 842,941 male prisoners in their total
custodial populations, delineated by age cohorts as follows: 105,827 male prisoners were between
the ages of 18 to 25; 269,179 male prisoners were between the ages of 26 to 35; 306,980 male
prisoners were between the ages of 36 to 50; and 158,298 male prisoners were over the age of 50.
Four jurisdictions reported holding a total of 18 individuals (16 boys and two girls) under the age
of 18 in restrictive housing.57
Within these 34 jurisdictions, 6.4% (6,734) of male prisoners between the ages of 18 to 25
in the total custodial population were in restrictive housing; 5.6% (14,957) of male prisoners
between the ages of 26 to 35 were in restrictive housing, 4.0% (12,339) of male prisoners between
the ages of 36 to 50 were in restrictive housing, and 2.3% (3,605) of male prisoners over the age
of 50 were in restrictive housing.
The 32 jurisdictions that provided information about the age distribution of women in
restrictive housing housed a total of 66,189 female prisoners in their total custodial populations in
the following age cohorts: 8,024 female prisoners between the ages of 18 to 25; 24,960 female
prisoners between the ages of 26 to 35; 24,146 female prisoners between the ages of 36 to 50; and
8,880 female prisoners over the age of 50.
Of those, 2.2% (173) of women between the ages of 18 to 25 in the total custodial
population were in restrictive housing, 1.4% (352) of women between the ages of 26 to 35 were in
restrictive housing, 0.9% (215) of women between the ages of 36 to 50 were in restrictive housing,
and 0.9% (77) of women over the age of 50 were in restrictive housing.
We provide the aggregate information in Figure 13 and Figure 14. We provide jurisdictionby-jurisdiction data in Table 11, Table 12, Table 13, and Table 14.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

37

Figure 13

Age Distribution of Male Prisoners in Restrictive Housing and Total
Custodial Population
(n = 34)

Figure 14

Age Distribution of Female Prisoners in Restrictive Housing and Total
Custodial Population
(n = 32)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

38

Table 11

Age Cohorts of Male Total Custodial Population and of Male Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 34)58

<18
Alabama
Alaska
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon

8
12
4
58
10
0
0
1
8
0
104
76
0
0
4
14
0
0
68
279
0
27
8
0

Total Custodial Population
18–25
26–35
36–50
50+
1,908
5,736
7,946
4,684
569
1,413
1,270
726
1,709
5,484
6,099
3,328
2,322
4,532
4,360
1,910
641
1,324
1,270
855
9,157
42,291
64,205
27,109
4,794
12,639
14,552
7,782
3,454
7,944
8,564
3,884
1,496
2,514
2,266
1,294
2,603
7,486
7,396
2,942
3,263
9,952
12,357
7,277
3,336
7,392
6,182
3,737
711
2,544
3,056
2,148
1,741
3,817
4,191
2,289
589
1,640
1,649
880
1,752
3,836
4,181
2,651
3,170
6,455
6,193
2,776
684
2,308
2,249
1,065
7,409
15,600
16,259
9,071
3,744
10,463
13,358
6,482
149
620
504
333
7,379
15,206
15,044
8,140
2,966
7,838
8,470
4,534
1,589
4,186
4,480
3,047

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

Total
20,282
3,990
16,624
13,182
4,100
142,762
39,767
23,847
7,578
20,427
32,953
20,723
8,459
12,038
4,762
12,434
18,594
6,306
48,407
34,326
1,606
45,796
23,816
13,302

<18
0
7
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
0

Restrictive Housing Population
18–25
26–35
36–50
50+
143
330
298
81
78
151
99
43
2
3
5
0
148
185
54
16
12
19
9
3
761
3,095
3,275
742
422
573
401
114
276
820
641
186
48
64
31
16
158
406
311
76
353
944
978
430
349
720
359
97
82
183
127
28
92
218
163
31
118
176
78
17
154
256
245
96
247
458
339
99
26
109
110
28
855
1,039
567
169
298
456
248
70
1
5
3
0
352
555
299
67
206
555
475
113
229
407
266
101

Total
852
378
10
403
43
7,873
1,510
1,923
159
951
2,709
1,526
420
504
389
751
1,143
273
2,630
1,076
9
1,273
1,349
1,003

39

Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

28
0
40
0
9
27
1
1,871
0
0
2,657

5,451
544
2,686
633
2,363
17,542
566
5,338
3,290
279
105,827

14,732
914
6,119
1,183
6,549
41,366
1,933
5,691
6,882
590
269,179

15,040
850
6,320
1,032
7,723
47,280
2,145
2,844
7,054
591
306,980

9,049
414
3,318
554
3,570
27,014
1,177
3,824
434
158,298

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

44,300
2,722
18,483
3,402
20,214
133,229
5,822
15,744
21,050
1,894
842,941

0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
16

259
19
181
25
87
357
70
84
221
21
6,734

632
30
324
32
259
1,343
143
185
246
36
14,957

419
20
170
19
168
1,815
59
105
160
23
12,339

182
7
43
13
32
661
5
33
5
1
3,605

1,492
76
718
89
546
4,176
277
407
632
81
37,651

40

Table 12

Age Cohorts Percentage of Male Total Custodial Population and of Male Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 34)

Alabama
Alaska
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon

<18
0.0%
0.3%
0.0%
0.4%
0.2%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.1%
0.0%
0.3%
0.4%
0.0%
0.0%
0.1%
0.1%
0.0%
0.0%
0.1%
0.8%
0.0%
0.1%
0.0%
0.0%

Total Custodial Population
18–25
26–35
36–50
9.4%
28.3%
39.2%
14.3%
35.4%
31.8%
10.3%
33.0%
36.7%
17.6%
34.4%
33.1%
15.6%
32.3%
31.0%
6.4%
29.6%
45.0%
12.1%
31.8%
36.6%
14.5%
33.3%
35.9%
19.7%
33.2%
29.9%
12.7%
36.6%
36.2%
9.9%
30.2%
37.5%
16.1%
35.7%
29.8%
8.4%
30.1%
36.1%
14.5%
31.7%
34.8%
12.4%
34.4%
34.6%
14.1%
30.9%
33.6%
17.0%
34.7%
33.3%
10.8%
36.6%
35.7%
15.3%
32.2%
33.6%
10.9%
30.5%
38.9%
9.3%
38.6%
31.4%
16.1%
33.2%
32.9%
12.5%
32.9%
35.6%
11.9%
31.5%
33.7%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

50+
23.1%
18.2%
20.0%
14.5%
20.9%
19.0%
19.6%
16.3%
17.1%
14.4%
22.1%
18.0%
25.4%
19.0%
18.5%
21.3%
14.9%
16.9%
18.7%
18.9%
20.7%
17.8%
19.0%
22.9%

<18
0.0%
1.9%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.1%
0.1%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.4%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

Restrictive Housing Population
18–25
26–35
36–50
16.8%
38.7%
35.0%
20.6%
39.9%
26.2%
20.0%
30.0%
50.0%
36.7%
45.9%
13.4%
27.9%
44.2%
20.9%
9.7%
39.3%
41.6%
27.9%
37.9%
26.6%
14.4%
42.6%
33.3%
30.2%
40.3%
19.5%
16.6%
42.7%
32.7%
13.0%
34.8%
36.1%
22.9%
47.2%
23.5%
19.5%
43.6%
30.2%
18.3%
43.3%
32.3%
30.3%
45.2%
20.1%
20.5%
34.1%
32.6%
21.6%
40.1%
29.7%
9.5%
39.9%
40.3%
32.5%
39.5%
21.6%
27.7%
42.4%
23.0%
11.1%
55.6%
33.3%
27.7%
43.6%
23.5%
15.3%
41.1%
35.2%
22.8%
40.6%
26.5%

50+
9.5%
11.4%
0.0%
4.0%
7.0%
9.4%
7.5%
9.7%
10.1%
8.0%
15.9%
6.4%
6.7%
6.2%
4.4%
12.8%
8.7%
10.3%
6.4%
6.5%
0.0%
5.3%
8.4%
10.1%

41

Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Median

0.1%
0.0%
0.2%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
11.9%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

12.3%
20.0%
14.5%
18.6%
11.7%
13.2%
9.7%
33.9%
15.6%
14.7%
13.7%

33.3%
33.6%
33.1%
34.8%
32.4%
31.0%
33.2%
36.1%
32.7%
31.2%
33.0%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

34.0%
31.2%
34.2%
30.3%
38.2%
35.5%
36.8%
18.1%
33.5%
31.2%
34.1%

20.4%
15.2%
18.0%
16.3%
17.7%
20.3%
20.2%
18.2%
22.9%
18.9%

0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

17.4%
25.0%
25.2%
28.1%
15.9%
8.5%
25.3%
20.6%
35.0%
25.9%
21.1%

42.4%
39.5%
45.1%
36.0%
47.4%
32.2%
51.6%
45.5%
38.9%
44.4%
41.8%

28.1%
26.3%
23.7%
21.3%
30.8%
43.5%
21.3%
25.8%
25.3%
28.4%
27.4%

12.2%
9.2%
6.0%
14.6%
5.9%
15.8%
1.8%
8.1%
0.8%
1.2%
7.8%

42

Table 13

Age Cohorts of Female Total Custodial Population and of Female Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 32)59

<18
Alabama
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North
Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania

0
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
2

Total Custodial Population
18–25 26–35 36–50
>50
118
467
520
205
172
700
606
195
147
390
316
98
44
87
72
30
912
3,465
4,563
2,137
216
844
911
439
339
1,032
886
213
128
267
237
73
380
1,393
1,149
217
160
418
336
146
76
238
188
86
101
352
324
125
42
156
153
65
182
478
467
153
90
286
268
130
70
328
259
84
329
871
803
355

Total
1,310
1,673
955
233
11,077
2,410
2,470
705
3,139
1,062
588
902
416
1,280
774
741
2,360

<18
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0

Restrictive Housing Population
18–25 26–35 36–50
>50
0
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
11
53
31
6
24
12
13
1
14
17
13
4
4
4
0
0
9
31
20
4
4
15
9
3
4
10
9
0
6
10
6
3
1
3
4
0
17
22
17
3
6
13
9
2
4
10
6
1
9
22
4
1

Total
3
0
3
0
101
50
48
8
64
31
23
25
8
59
30
21
36

27

285

1,050

1,183

388

2,933

1

6

17

8

1

33

0
0
2
0
1

49
663
356
137
308

99
1,728
1,226
488
1,019

64
1,360
1,139
454
886

12
407
356
193
406

224
4,158
3,079
1,272
2,620

0
0
1
0
0

0
4
7
4
1

0
4
8
12
3

0
1
3
10
2

0
0
0
2
0

0
9
19
28
6

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

43

Rhode Island
South
Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

0

20

55

45

10

130

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

179

539

531

204

1,455

0

3

11

3

2

19

0
0
6
0
133
0
0
179

82
147
1,468
51
530
210
33
8,024

256
769
4,587
196
457
632
87
24,960

157
808
4,487
182
182
505
105
24,146

30
222
1,632
42

525
1,946
12,180
471
1,302
1,539
260
66,189

0

0

0
0
0
0
0
2

21
3
1
9
0
173

1
4
35
2
1
25
3
352

0
2
30
0
0
13
1
215

0
3
7
0
0
34
0
77

1
9
93
5
2
81
4
819

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

192
35
8,880

44

Table 14

Age Cohorts Percentage of Female Total Custodial Population and of Female Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 32)

Alabama
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
FBOP
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kentucky
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Nebraska
Nevada
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island

<18
0.0%
0.0%
0.4%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.2%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.1%
0.9%
0.0%
0.0%
0.1%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

Total Custodial Population
18–25
26–35
36–50
9.0%
35.6%
39.7%
10.3%
41.8%
36.2%
15.4%
40.8%
33.1%
18.9%
37.3%
30.9%
8.2%
31.3%
41.2%
9.0%
35.0%
37.8%
13.7%
41.8%
35.9%
18.2%
37.9%
33.6%
12.1%
44.4%
36.6%
15.1%
39.4%
31.6%
12.9%
40.5%
32.0%
11.2%
39.0%
35.9%
10.1%
37.5%
36.8%
14.2%
37.3%
36.5%
11.6%
37.0%
34.6%
9.4%
44.3%
35.0%
13.9%
36.9%
34.0%
9.7%
35.8%
40.3%
21.9%
44.2%
28.6%
15.9%
41.6%
32.7%
11.6%
39.8%
37.0%
10.8%
38.4%
35.7%
11.8%
38.9%
33.8%
15.4%
42.3%
34.6%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

>50
15.6%
11.7%
10.3%
12.9%
19.3%
18.2%
8.6%
10.4%
6.9%
13.7%
14.6%
13.9%
15.6%
12.0%
16.8%
11.3%
15.0%
13.2%
5.4%
9.8%
11.6%
15.2%
15.5%
7.7%

<18
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
3.0%
0.0%
0.0%
5.3%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

Restrictive Housing Population
18–25
26–35
36–50
0.0%
66.7%
33.3%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
33.3%
66.7%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
10.9%
52.5%
30.7%
48.0%
24.0%
26.0%
29.2%
35.4%
27.1%
50.0%
50.0%
0.0%
14.1%
48.4%
31.2%
12.9%
48.4%
29.0%
17.4%
43.5%
39.1%
24.0%
40.0%
24.0%
12.5%
37.5%
50.0%
28.8%
37.3%
28.8%
20.0%
43.3%
30.0%
19.0%
47.6%
28.6%
25.0%
61.1%
11.1%
18.2%
51.5%
24.2%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
44.4%
44.4%
11.1%
36.8%
42.1%
15.8%
14.3%
42.9%
35.7%
16.7%
50.0%
33.3%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

>50
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
5.9%
2.0%
8.3%
0.0%
6.2%
9.7%
0.0%
12.0%
0.0%
5.1%
6.7%
4.8%
2.8%
3.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
7.1%
0.0%
0.0%

45

South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Median

0.1%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
10.2%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

12.3%
15.6%
7.6%
12.1%
10.8%
40.7%
13.6%
12.7%
12.2%

37.0%
48.8%
39.5%
37.7%
41.6%
35.1%
41.1%
33.5%
39.0%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

36.5%
29.9%
41.5%
36.8%
38.6%
14.0%
32.8%
40.4%
35.8%

14.0%
5.7%
11.4%
13.4%
8.9%
12.5%
13.5%
12.9%

0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%

15.8%
0.0%
0.0%
22.6%
60.0%
50.0%
11.1%
0.0%
17.8%

57.9%
100.0%
44.4%
37.6%
40.0%
50.0%
30.9%
75.0%
44.0%

15.8%
0.0%
22.2%
32.3%
0.0%
0.0%
16.0%
25.0%
24.1%

10.5%
0.0%
33.3%
7.5%
0.0%
0.0%
42.0%
0.0%
2.0%

46

Subpopulations
The rules governing the placement of individuals in restrictive housing reflect concerns
about its harms to individuals. Certain subpopulations may face additional challenges, as
evidenced by regulations focused on limiting the placement of these groups in restrictive housing.
In this section, we provide an overview of data on incarcerated people identified as mentally ill as
well as on the use of restrictive housing for pregnant women and transgender individuals.
Prisoners with Mental Health Issues
Reports identify a large number of incarcerated people who have mental health issues, with
a recent estimate as high as one-third of the prison population.60 Even as debate exists as to what
level of distress should create buffers to placement in restrictive housing, a consensus has emerged
that individuals identified as having serious mental illness should not be placed into restrictive
housing.
Illustrative of these concerns are the 2016 ACA Restrictive Housing Performance Based
Standards, which called for regular “behavioral health assessments” for individuals placed in
restrictive housing. Standard 4-RH-0010 provides that corrections departments should have
written policies to ensure that “a mental health practitioner/provider” evaluates and files written
reports on prisoners “placed in restrictive housing within 7 days of placement.”61 If an individual
is held “beyond 30 days, a behavioral health assessment by a mental health practitioner/provider”
is to be completed “at least every 30 days” for individuals diagnosed with a “behavioral health
disorder and more frequently if clinically indicated.” If an assessment concludes that a person has
no “behavioral health disorder,” reassessments are to occur “every 90 days and more frequently if
clinically indicated.” Those evaluations are to take place in “a confidential area.”62
Further, the ACA Standards detail that, “at a minimum,” the mental health provider is to
inquire into whether a person has a present “suicide ideation” or a “history of suicidal behavior,”
is on “prescribed psychotropic medication,” has a current “mental health complaint,” is being
treated for “mental health problems,” has “a history of inpatient and outpatient psychiatric
treatment,” or has a history of “treatment for substance abuse.” The mental health provider must
also observe an individual’s “general appearance and behavior” and look for “evidence of abuse
and/or trauma” or “current symptoms of psychosis, depression, anxiety, and/or aggression.”63 The
provider is then to conclude whether a referral to mental health care is necessary and whether
“emergency treatment” is needed.64
The ACA Standards also provide that once a person is placed in restrictive housing, both
written policies and practices should require that prisoners are “personally observed by a
correctional officer twice per hour, but no more than 40 minutes apart, on an irregular schedule.”65
Individuals who are “violent or mentally disordered or who demonstrate unusual or bizarre
behavior or self-harm” are to be observed more often.66 Prisoners who are “suicidal” are to be
under continuous observation, all of which is to be logged.67 The need for observation is a decision
for a “qualified mental health professional.” 68 Unless “medical attention is needed more
frequently,” each person in restrictive housing is to be visited daily by health care personnel in an
ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

47

announced and recorded visit 69 and weekly by a “mental health staff” member, unless more
frequent visits are called for by health personnel.70
The ACA Standards also state that “the agency will not place a person with serious mental
illness in Extended Restrictive Housing,” defined as “housing that separates the offender from
contact with the general population while restricting an offender/inmate to his/her cell for at least
22 hours per day and for more than 30 days for the safe and secure operation of the facility.”71 The
ACA defines serious mental illness as “Psychotic Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, and Major
Depressive Disorder; any diagnosed mental disorder (excluding substance use disorders) currently
associated with serious impairment in psychological, cognitive, or behavioral functioning that
substantially interferes with the person’s ability to meet the ordinary demands of living and
requires an individualized treatment plan by a qualified mental health professional(s).”72
To gather information about the use of restrictive housing for persons identified as facing
mental health challenges, the 2017–2018 ASCA-Liman survey asked each jurisdiction about
people whom it deemed to have “serious mental illness” (SMI), including the total number as well
as the gender and race of the seriously mentally ill population both in the total custodial population
and in restrictive housing.73 Thirty-three jurisdictions provided data on both the total custodial
population with SMI and the population with SMI in restrictive housing for male prisoners, and
31 for female prisoners.74
An additional word of explanation is needed about this aspect of the questionnaire. After
surveying jurisdictions in 2015 and again in 2017, we learned that the definitions of serious mental
illness vary substantially, as do the policies governing placement of individuals with mental health
issues—classified as “serious” or otherwise—in restrictive housing. In addition to correctional
department rules, some legislatures provide statutory direction and, in some jurisdictions, litigation
has resulted in specified definitions and constraints.75
For example, some jurisdictions provide a sentence or two explaining their definition of
serious mental illness, such as, “chronic mental health treatment or inpatient mental health
treatment.” 76 Other jurisdictions have more detailed descriptions, such as any “mental health
condition that current medical science affirms is caused by a biological disorder of the brain and
that substantially limits the life activities of the person with the serious mental illness. Serious
mental illness includes but is not limited to (i) schizophrenia, (ii) schizoaffective disorder, (iii)
delusional disorder, (iv) bipolar affective disorder, (v) major depression, and (vi) obsessive
compulsive disorder.” 77 Yet others have several paragraphs or pages of descriptions.78
Given this variation in scope and detail, a person could be classified as seriously mentally
ill in one jurisdiction but not in another. We therefore have neither aggregated nor scaled the data
but rather provide, in Table 15 and Table 16, the numbers of persons in the general population
with serious mental illness and the numbers placed in restrictive housing, as provided by each
jurisdiction’s own account. We provide the definitions used in 43 jurisdictions in Appendix C.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

48
Table 15

Male Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness (SMI, variously defined)
in Restrictive Housing (RH)
(n = 33)
Total Male
Custodial
Population

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Tennessee79
Texas80
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming

20,282
38,117
14,561
16,624
13,182
4,100
39,767
23,847
7,578
8,999
20,427
32,953
8,459
12,038
29,675
4,762
18,594
6,306
48,407
34,326
1,606
45,796
23,816
13,302
44,300
2,722
3,402
20,214
133,229
5,822
15,744
21,050
1,894

Total

735,901

Male
Custodial
Population
with SMI
1,064
1,559
397
1,234
28
354
3,998
4,762
1,009
2,677
386
2,113
608
61
3,768
192
208
36
2,420
385
345
3,477
7,011
812
3,691
140
111

% Male
Custodial
Population
with SMI
5.3%
4.1%
2.7%
7.4%
0.2%
8.6%
10.1%
20.0%
13.3%
29.7%
1.9%
6.4%
7.2%
0.5%
12.7%
4.0%
1.1%
0.6%
5.0%
1.1%
21.5%
7.6%
29.4%
6.1%
8.3%
5.1%
3.3%

1,440
199
1,628
1,654
204

1.1%
3.4%
10.3%
7.9%
10.8%

Male
Population
with SMI
in RH
248
284
21
1
3
3
356
567
24
43
66
417
10
10
703
50
1
23
47
27
5
150
615
112
0
16
12
98
0
11
99
90
41

47,971

6.1% (median)

4,153

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

%Male
Population with
SMI in RH
23.3%
18.2%
5.3%
0.1%
10.7%
0.9%
8.9%
11.9%
2.4%
1.61%
17.1%
19.7%
1.6%
16.4%
18.7%
26%
0.5%
63.9%
1.9%
7.0%
1.5%
4.3%
8.8%
13.8%
0.0%
11.4%
10.8%
0.0%
5.5%
6.1%
5.4%
20.1%
7.9% (median)

49

Table 16

Female Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness (SMI, variously defined)
in Restrictive Housing (RH)
(n = 31)

Alabama
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Massachusetts
Missouri
Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Total

Total
Female
Custodial
Population
1,310
4,029
1,344
1,673
955
233
2,410
2,470
705
897
3,139
588
3,529
416
774
741
2,357
2,933
224
4,158
3,079
1,272
2,620
130
525
1,946
12,180
471
1,302
1,539
260

Female
Custodial
Population
with SMI
86
313
2
497
8
64
619
954
167
525
163
46
1,102
71
24
9
188
80
37
1,113
2,086
168
529
9
40

% Female
Custodial
Population
with SMI
6.6%
7.8%
0.1%
29.7%
0.8%
27.5%
25.7%
38.6%
23.7%
58.5%
5.19%
7.82%
31.2%
17.1%
3.1%
1.2%
8.0%
2.7%
16.5%
26.8%
67.7%
13.2%
20.2%
6.9%
7.6%

84
21
193
414
64

60,209

9,676

0.7%
4.5%
14.8%
26.9%
24.6%
13.2%
(median)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

Female
Population
with SMI
in RH
1
14
0
0
0
0
24
36
3
0
8
0
48
4
0
0
3
2
0
10
14
11
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
19
2
201

% Female
Population
with SMI
in RH
1.2%
4.5%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
3.9%
3.8%
1.8%
0.0%
4.9%
0.0%
4.4%
5.6%
0.0%
0.0%
1.6%
2.5%
0.0%
0.9%
0.7%
6.6%
0.0%
0.0%
2.5%
0.0%
0.0%
0.0%
4.6%
3.1%
0.8%
(median)

50

We also sought to learn about the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, and mental illness.
Thirty-one jurisdictions provided information by race and ethnicity about male prisoners with
serious mental illness, and 28 jurisdictions provided information by race and ethnicity about
female prisoners with serious mental illness. Table 17 and Table 18 provide the information,
jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

51

Table 17

Male Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness by Race and Ethnicity in the Total Custodial Population and
in the Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 31)
Total Custodial Population
Am.
Hisp.
Asian
NHPI
Ind.

White

Black

Alabama

497

564

Arizona

743

339

393

7

Arkansas

206

180

0

0

Colorado

633

270

276

10

10

110

Illinois
Indiana

Other

Total

White

Black

Restrictive Housing Population
Am.
Hisp Asian
NHPI
Ind.

Other

Total

3

1,064

75

172

53

24

1,559

105

52

99

0

0

11

397

3

18

0

0

9

46

0

1,234

0

1

0

0

8

0

0

28

3

0

0

0

0

236

7

1

0

0

354

1

2

0

0

0

0

3

1,415

2,283

286

8

0

4

2

3,998

69

263

23

0

0

0

1

356

3,297

1,294

125

10

3

13

20

4,762

379

150

33

0

0

2

3

567

717

215

50

5

5

17

1,009

18

4

2

1,679

697

235

19

0

47

0

2,677

33

9

0

Kentucky

307

76

1

2

386

52

9

2

Louisiana

766

1,342

4

1

0

0

2,113

110

307

0

Massachusetts

336

155

96

5

0

6

608

4

4

2

21

38

61

0

9

1

2,676

1,074

3,768

452

246

4

1

703

192

25

12

11

1

1

50

Connecticut
Delaware

Iowa
Kansas

Mississippi
Missouri

0

10

2
3

8

7

Nebraska

1

248

15

13

284

0

0

0

21

0

0

0

1
3

24
0

0

1

0

43

2

0

1

66

0

0

0

0

417

0

0

0

0

10
10

New Jersey

80

93

33

2

0

0

0

208

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

New Mexico

15

2

18

0

0

1

0

36

6

1

15

0

0

1

0

23

New York

638

1,155

546

0

0

0

81

2,420

8

23

14

0

0

1

1

47

North
Carolina

189

164

11

3

18

385

10

14

1

2

27

North Dakota

235

32

14

2

61

1

345

3

0

0

0

2

0

5

Ohio

2,149

1,237

56

3

9

23

3,477

92

55

1

1

0

1

150

Oklahoma

4,303

1,609

321

16

746

14

7,011

292

193

47

0

79

1

615

0

2

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

0

3

52

Pennsylvania

1,696

1,692

277

11

0

2

13

3,691

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rhode Island

72

40

24

1

0

2

1

140

8

3

5

0

0

0

0

16

South Dakota

71

9

1

1

0

29

0

111

6

1

1

0

0

4

0

12

61

36

1

0

0

0

0

98

Tennessee
Utah

137

21

28

2

1,000

372

130

47

Wisconsin

869

581

124

Wyoming

166

8

20

25,033

15,788

3,084

Washington

Total

3

7

1

199

5

2

3

64

15

1,628

62

16

11

5

13

66

1

1,654

35

36

14

0

0

2

8

0

204

17

3

1

156

28

1,191

247

45,719

1,934

1,642

286

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

1

11

3

2

99

0

5

0

90

0

0

4

0

25

6

5

124

28

4,025

53

Table 18

Female Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness by Race and Ethnicity in the Total Custodial Population and
in the Restrictive Housing Population
(n = 28)
Total Custodial Population
Am.
Hisp.
Asian
NHPI
Ind.

White

Black

Alabama

60

26

Arizona

181

57

44

2

Arkansas

0

2

0

0

Colorado

269

73

122

3

4

37

Illinois

Other

Total

White

Black

86

0

1

Restrictive Housing Population
Am.
Hisp Asian
NHPI
Ind.

Other

Total
1

24

5

313

8

1

5

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

5

28

0

497

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

8

0

0

0

0

0

26

0

1

0

0

64

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

294

270

50

4

0

1

0

619

7

14

3

0

0

0

0

24

Indiana

757

166

17

1

0

4

9

954

24

12

0

0

0

0

0

36

Kansas

370

87

44

5

0

19

0

525

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Kentucky

135

22

6

163

8

0

0

0

8

27

12

3

1

3

46

0

0

0

0

0

0

932

156

3

1

1,102

34

14

0

0

Connecticut
Delaware

Massachusetts
Missouri

0

0

0
10

Nebraska

71

0

0

14

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

48

1

1

4

New Jersey

12

9

2

1

0

0

0

24

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

New Mexico

7

0

2

0

0

0

0

9

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

New York

52

109

24

0

0

0

3

188

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

3

North
Carolina

43

34

0

1

2

80

1

1

0

0

0

2

North Dakota

20

0

3

0

0

1

37

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

833

270

7

2

1

0

1,113

4

6

0

0

0

0

10

1,353

274

90

3

6

355

5

2,086

2

5

2

0

0

5

0

14

Pennsylvania

295

188

35

4

0

2

5

529

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Rhode Island

7

2

0

0

0

0

0

9

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Dakota

21

0

2

0

0

17

0

40

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Ohio
Oklahoma

13

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

0

54

Tennessee
Utah

16

0

1

0

Washington

116

29

24

9

Wisconsin

268

98

9

Wyoming

51

3

6

6,159

1,917

489

Total

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

0

21

0

0

0

0

11

4

193

0

0

0

0

4

35

0

414

8

9

0

0

0

2

0

19

0

0

4

0

64

0

1

0

0

0

1

0

2

40

23

515

43

9,257

99

67

11

0

0

9

1

187

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

55

Pregnant Women
Restrictive housing has sometimes been used as a placement for prisoners identified as
“different” on various metrics, including being pregnant. In 2016, the ACA Standards provided
that “female inmates determined to be pregnant”81 should not be housed in extended restrictive
housing.
We sought to learn how many pregnant prisoners were in the custodial population as a
whole and how many were placed in restrictive housing. In the 41 jurisdictions that had sufficiently
detailed and consistent information to describe, three reported that, as of the fall of 2017, they
housed no pregnant prisoners in their total custodial populations. 82 The other 38 jurisdictions
reported that they counted a total of 613 pregnant women prisoners.83 None of the 41 jurisdictions
reported that, as of the fall of 2017, any pregnant prisoners were held in restrictive housing.
Transgender Prisoners
As with pregnancy, “protection” has been a basis for putting other persons with specific
needs in restrictive housing. Concerns about the misuse of restrictive housing as a placement for
transgender individuals prompted the ACA to promulgate a Standard that prisoners not be “placed
in Restrictive Housing on the basis of Gender Identity alone.” 84 Therefore, the ASCA-Liman
survey sought to learn about transgender prisoners in the total custodial population and in
restrictive housing.
Of the 43 jurisdictions responding about transgender prisoners in the total custodial
population, 85 four indicated that they either did not track or could not report the number of
transgender prisoners in their total custodial populations.86 One jurisdiction reported having no
transgender prisoners in its total custodial population.87 The remaining 38 jurisdictions reported a
total of 2,444 transgender prisoners in their total custodial populations. When jurisdictions
described different methods to identify transgender prisoners, those differences are documented in
endnotes.88
Five of these 43 jurisdictions indicated that they either did not track or could not report the
number of transgender prisoners in their restrictive housing populations.89 Of the remaining 38
jurisdictions, 17 reported that no transgender prisoners were in restrictive housing.90 The other 21
jurisdictions identified a total of 157 transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Within those 21
systems, nine states each counted one to three transgender prisoners in segregation, another nine
states reported six to ten, and three states identified 19–24 people in this category.91

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

56

A Snapshot of Two Jails
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), as of 2016, the 2,850 jail systems in
the United States held an average daily population of 731,300 people. 92 According to an earlier
BJS report based on survey responses from people confined in jails in 2011–2012, on an average
day, some 2.7% of these individuals were held in administrative segregation or solitary
confinement.93
BJS has identified six jurisdictions (Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Rhode Island,
and Vermont) as “integrated systems,” in which correctional departments are in charge of prisons
and jails. 94 Of the 46 state jurisdictions responding to the survey, four—Delaware, Hawaii,
Maryland, and Rhode Island—indicated that they had included jail populations in their counts of
total custodial populations.95 Alaska and Connecticut, also responding, did not discuss jails as
under their “direct control” and did not count people in jails in their responses. Given that these
integrated jurisdictions are predominately prison systems and we have some but not
comprehensive data delineating the characteristics of their jail populations, this section focuses on
the information from the two jail systems that separately responded to our survey.
Demographics
We sent surveys to the four major metropolitan jails that are ASCA members, and we
received responses from Los Angeles and Philadelphia.96 Los Angeles reported that, as of March
2018, it had 17,278 people in its jails, or about 2.4% of the national jail population. As of
September 2017, Philadelphia held 6,695 people, or about 0.9% of the national jail population.
Thus, these two systems accounted for about 3.3% of the people in jails across the country. Each
system also provided demographic information (detailed in Tables 19 and 20) about the sex/gender,
race, ethnicity, and age of those in their jails.

Table 19

Total Custodial Population by Race and Ethnicity and Delineated by
Sex/Gender in Los Angeles and Philadelphia Jails

Men

Los Angeles
Philadelphia

White

Black

Hisp.

Asian

NHPI

2,200
627

4,468
4,127

7,784
1,205

29
46

30

White

Black

Hisp.

Asian

NHPI

467
146

672
342

981
99

7
2

6

Am.
Ind.
5

Other

Total

541
91

15,057
6,096

Other

Total

88
10

2,221
599

Women

Los Angeles
Philadelphia

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

Am.
Ind.
0

57

The 2017–2018 ASCA-Liman survey defined short-term restrictive housing as “separating
prisoners from the general population and holding them in their cells for an average of 22 or more
hours per day,” for 15–29 continuous days. The survey defined long-term restrictive housing as
“separating prisoners from the general population and holding them in their cells for an average of
22 or more hours per day,” for longer than 29 days. Both jurisdictions relied on the definition of
15–29 days in confinement for short-term restrictive housing.
Los Angeles reported that 619 people (3.6%) out of its total custodial population of 17,278
were in restrictive housing, and it provided delineations of those populations by age and gender.
Philadelphia reported that 416 detainees (6.2%) out of its total custodial population of 6,695 were
in restrictive housing, but did not provide demographic information on these individuals.97 Neither
jurisdiction provided information on how long individuals stayed in restrictive housing.98 Table
20 details the gender and the age of both the custodial population and, for Los Angeles, 99 the
restrictive housing population.
Table 20

Age Cohorts of Men and Women in the Total Custodial Population
in Los Angeles and Philadelphia Jails and in the Restrictive Housing
Population in Los Angeles Jails

Men

Los Angeles
Philadelphia

Total Custodial Population
<18
18–25
26–35
0
3,706
4,971
36
1,730
2,180

36–50
3,386
1,577

50+
2,994
573

Los Angeles

Restrictive Housing Population
<18
18–25
26–35
0
90
192

36–50
148

50+
49

Los Angeles
Philadelphia

Total Custodial Population
<18
18–25
26–35
0
497
837
1
107
235

36–50
489
186

50+
398
70

Los Angeles

Restrictive Housing Population
<18
18–25
26–35
0
8
14

36–50
8

50+
2

Women

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Mental Illness in Jails
The survey also asked the jails for information about certain subpopulations. As in the
survey of prison systems, we asked each jurisdiction for its own definition of serious mental illness.
Los Angeles, referencing the outcome of a lawsuit in its definition, 100 stated that
“Serious mental illness” includes psychotic disorders, major mood disorders
(including major depression and bipolar disorders), and any other conditions
(excluding personality disorders, substance abuse and dependence disorders,
dementia, and developmental disability) that is associated with serious or recurrent
significant self-harm, suicidal ideation, imminent danger to others, current grave
disability, or that prevents access to available programs. Although personality
disorders alone generally do not qualify as serious mental illness, personality
disorders associated with serious or recurrent significant self-harm do qualify as
serious mental illness.
Los Angeles reported that, of its 17,278-person jail population, 4,000 people—23.2%—had
serious mental illness, and that no one was in restrictive housing whom it identified as having
serious mental illness and who “also displayed signs of suicidal ideations, was gravely disabled,”
was in danger of “recurrent self-harm, or had an active psychosis.”
Philadelphia defined serious mental illness as “having a diagnosis from one of the
following categories: Bipolar, Schizophrenia, Psychosis, Depression, Borderline Personality.”
Philadelphia reported that it housed 1,136 people—17.0%—with serious mental illness in its
custodial population. The jail system also reported that of the 6,096 men who were in jail, 939—
15.4%—were classified as seriously mentally ill, and that of the 599 women who were in jail,
197—32.9%—were classified as seriously mentally ill. Philadelphia did not report the number of
individuals in restrictive housing with a serious mental illness.
Pregnant and Transgender People
Los Angeles reported “approximately” 60 transgender individuals in its total custodial
population, and that fewer than five transgender individuals were in short-term restrictive housing
(15–29 days), and fewer than five people were in long-term restrictive housing (longer than 29
days). Philadelphia reported that it does not track transgender individuals “in a manner that is
easily reportable.”
Los Angeles reported 12 pregnant individuals, none of whom were in restrictive housing.
Philadelphia explained that, in terms of pregnant people, that “data could not be sorted to respond
to this question.”101
Revising Policies
Although Philadelphia indicated that it had not made any changes to its policies regarding
restrictive housing since January 1, 2016, it explained that it had reviewed its policies after the
ACA released its 2016 Performance Based Standards and had relied on them. Philadelphia

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reported implementing the ACA prohibition on extended restrictive housing (more than 29
continuous days) for individuals under the age of 18. Philadelphia said that it had substantially
implemented, with exceptions, ACA prohibitions on the use of extended restrictive housing for
those diagnosed as seriously mentally ill. Philadelphia stated that it also aimed not to release
individuals from restrictive housing directly into the community. Philadelphia responded that,
before the 2016 ACA revisions, its policy had been not to use extended restrictive housing for
females determined to be pregnant.
Los Angeles detailed several changes in its policies. Los Angeles stated that it had shifted
its entry criteria from those based on general information about prisoners (“intel based”) to those
based on prisoners’ “behavior.” In terms of process, placement required approval from a
“Restrictive Housing Panel” and pre-entry mental health screening prior to moving an individual
into restrictive housing. Within five days of initial placements, Los Angeles stated that it required
individualized needs assessments.102
Los Angeles reported increasing the total time out-of-cell by three hours per week. Los
Angeles stated that its programs included activities focused on self-help, religion, education, and
anger-management. Los Angeles said it had added “self-directed educational programs for
volunteers,” and access to more “entertainment” or literary materials to “those who show positive
behavior.”
Los Angeles reported it had developed a “STEP program” for release from restrictive
housing in which an individual who had demonstrated positive behavior would participate for two
to four months in “several graduated programming groups in increasing size.” Although Los
Angeles did not change its policy to mandate that detainees be told the criteria for their release, it
indicated that the pamphlets it gave detainees included this information.
Los Angeles stated that it had reviewed its policies since the ACA released its 2016
Performance Based Standards, and that it uses these Standards “as a guide.” Los Angeles reported
implementing the ACA Standard prohibiting the use of extended restrictive housing (more than 29
continuous days) for females determined to be pregnant. Los Angeles said that it had not
implemented the ACA Standard about direct release from restrictive housing into the community.
Los Angeles stated that it “found this standard to be extremely difficult to implement in a jail
setting due to the unknown and often short stays of jail inmates.” Los Angeles indicated that, by
providing “an increase in out-of-cell time,” it had substantially implemented, with exceptions, the
policy prohibiting the placement of those diagnosed as seriously mentally ill in extended restrictive
housing. Los Angeles noted that it provided 32 hours of mental health training for staff and twoyear staff rotations for those working in restrictive housing units.
Both jails were asked, “In an ideal situation (i.e. if you had the necessary resources, and if
you could do so consistent with institutional safety), what number of hours out-of-cell do you
believe is desirable for prisoners?” Los Angeles responded that it believed six to eight hours outof-cell per day is desirable. Philadelphia responded, “General population inmates generally get 9–
11 hours each day out of their cells.”

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III. Revising Policies on Restrictive Housing
ASCA-Liman surveys have sought to learn about changes in the restrictive housing policies
of corrections departments. As reflected below, dozens of departments have expressed concerns
about restrictive housing and reported policy revisions, some of which aim to reduce and, in some
instances, to eliminate holding people in cells an average of 22 hours or more per day for 15 days
or more.
In the 2014 Report, Time-in-Cell, we noted that the majority of the jurisdictions surveyed
had convened or planned to convene a task force to review their use of isolation.103 Two years
later, jurisdictions reported more efforts underway, as reflected in the title of the 2016 Report,
Aiming to Reduce Time-in-Cell. Jurisdictions described narrowing criteria for placement in
restrictive housing and increasing oversight; creating step-down and release procedures; and
increasing time out-of-cell and opportunities for activities inside restrictive housing.104
In the 2017–2018 ASCA-Liman survey, we again asked about reforms. Our questions
focused on entry, oversight, programs, and release, as well as on the impact of the 2016 ACA
Performance Based Standards. The survey also queried jurisdictions about what they would like
to do, if resources were available, in terms of time out-of-cell. Forty-four jurisdictions responded
to at least some of the questions about changes in policies.105 Several jurisdictions provided their
regulations and additional materials.106 Some jurisdictions also noted that they were influenced by
guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Institute of Corrections, the National
Commission on Correctional Health Care, and the Vera Institute of Justice. Below, we synthesize
the answers to detail the changes reported,
Entry and Oversight
In 2014, we learned that the criteria for placing prisoners in isolation were broad, as was
the discretion afforded correctional staff to place individuals in administrative segregation. Few
policies focused on pathways out of isolation.107 For the 2017–2018 survey, we sought to learn
about whether and how criteria for placement in restrictive housing had changed since 2016.
Thirty-nine jurisdictions responded to at least one of the questions discussed below, and 23
reported making revisions to placement processes.108
We asked whether jurisdictions had removed “behaviors . . . from the list of infractions
qualifying prisoners for restrictive housing placement” or had otherwise narrowed the criteria for
entry.109 Sixteen jurisdictions reported that they had done so.110 Examples included eliminating
some behaviors from categories prompting isolation. One jurisdiction had deleted “horse play,
possession of small amounts of marijuana, etc.” from infractions leading to restrictive housing.111
As another explained, it has shifted its rules so that acts which “qualify an inmate for RH are those
that are considered violent or compromise security in a significant manner.”112 A third jurisdiction
noted that non-violent behavior was less likely to result in being sent to restrictive housing,113 and
another stated it no longer used restrictive housing when prisoners misbehaved in ways that did
not “pose a direct threat.”114 Similarly, one jurisdiction reported that it had “discontinued the use
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of solitary confinement as a punishment for disciplinary infractions” altogether.115 In contrast, one
jurisdiction reported that, because of increased prison violence, it had changed criteria to increase
the length of stay in what it called “long-term RHU.”116 Another jurisdiction had “added three
more behaviors, when ‘chronic’ or severe”: fighting, possession of “gang-related material,” and
“disobeying staff directive/insolence to staff.”117
We also inquired about decision-making by asking about the authority and the steps taken
in the decision-making process. Sixteen jurisdictions reported that they had created policies
requiring senior-level approval of restrictive housing decisions.118 Twenty jurisdictions reported
that the outcomes of mental health screenings affected their decisions to put individuals into
restrictive housing.119 Fourteen jurisdictions reported that they conducted mental health screenings
prior to placement in restrictive housing.120 Four jurisdictions stated that they performed mental
health screenings upon placement in restrictive housing. 121 Jurisdictions also mentioned
screenings before placement for issues such as medical status, 122 disability, and PREA (Prison
Rape Elimination Act) requirements.123
Twenty-one jurisdictions reported having put in place policies requiring consideration of
less restrictive alternatives prior to placement in restrictive housing.124 Examples were use of a
“Restricted Privileges dorm”125 and mental health special housing.126 One jurisdiction had a set
of alternatives: “confinement” in general population cells “for a specified period,” “‘blue room’
placement,” meetings with a counselor, and placement in a “protective custody housing unit.”127
Another jurisdiction considered, for drug trafficking and related offenses, placement in a special
“Drug Suppression Unit” within its general population.128
Twenty-eight jurisdictions also reported changes in how they monitored placements in
restrictive housing.129 Changes included the frequency of reviews130 (from weekly, to every 30
days, to every 90 days, to annually, to as needed); the individuals or groups undertaking reviews;131
and a new grievance procedure for prisoners in restrictive housing.132 Twenty-two jurisdictions
reported increased monitoring of the mental health of prisoners in restrictive housing133 through
regular rounds or visits from mental health care professionals (from daily to weekly 134 ) and
placement reviews every 30 days.135
Time Out-of-Cell, Sociability, and Programming
We asked a number of questions about whether time out-of-cell had increased and what
types of out-of-cell activities or unstructured time were organized. Forty jurisdictions responded
to at least one of these questions. Twenty reported that they had implemented policies to increase
time out-of-cell for prisoners, and many others described changing how that time was structured.136
Twenty jurisdictions reported adding more structured time out-of-cell,137 such as programs
or therapy, and six described permitting meals in social settings. 138 Eleven jurisdictions noted
increasing “unstructured (recreational)” time out-of-cell, 139 and ten referenced more outdoor
recreation opportunities. 140 Eleven jurisdictions stated that some classes were available. 141

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Thirteen reported adding an out-of-cell GED or diploma program for prisoners in restrictive
housing.142
A focus for many jurisdictions was sociability and group programming. Nine jurisdictions
reported that they had increased times for visitors.143 Ten jurisdictions said that they had increased
phone time for prisoners.144 Twenty-four jurisdictions stated that they had added out-of-cell group
programming or classes, 145 such as “career readiness,” 146 correspondence courses, 147
horticulture,148 and classes on “thinking errors” and “criminal attitudes.”149 Sixteen jurisdictions
noted more group recreation opportunities.150
Twenty-two jurisdictions reported that they had added “in-cell learning opportunities.”151
Among these 22 jurisdictions, new in-cell educational opportunities included distance learning at
both the GED and post-secondary levels,152 as well as vocational certification testing.153 Materials
available for in-cell use included videos,154 tablets or smartboards,155 and paper packets.156
Staff Training
Twenty-nine jurisdictions (out of 35 responding to the question) reported adding some
form of mental health training for staff.157 Several jurisdictions described receiving guidance on
this issue from groups such as the Department of Justice, the National Institute of Corrections,
other government agencies, and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care.158
Education programs for staff included topics such as the functioning of a restrictive housing
unit,
basic general training on mental health, 160 understanding risks of suicide, 161 crisis
intervention,162 and what is called “motivational interviewing”—a style of clinical counseling.163
One jurisdiction reported that its “Behavioral Intervention Unit staff” received “training on the
risks of mental health deterioration for those who are exposed to prolonged stays in isolation and
the importance of reducing isolation by having an increase in out-of-cell activities, structured
activities, and staff interaction.”164 Another reported that “staff working with offenders under age
18 receive specialized training on youth brain development.” 165 One jurisdiction noted that it
helped pay for training if mental health personnel sought “additional training on their own.”166
Fourteen jurisdictions said that they had implemented staff rotation policies, 167 with intervals
ranging from 56 days168 to five years.169
159

Release
The survey also sought to learn about how individuals exit restrictive housing. Thirty-seven
jurisdictions responded to at least one of these questions.
Twenty jurisdictions reported that they had implemented policies “mandating that
prisoners be told the criteria for their release in advance.”170 Twenty-one jurisdictions reported
making changes to their policies on who decides whether a prisoner exits restrictive housing so
that “the decision to release or transition an individual from restrictive housing” was “now made
by a committee, rather than by an individual.”171

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Over half of the jurisdictions surveyed reported that they had added step-down 172 or
transitional programs to the release process.173 Some of these programs involved progressive levels
or phases with increasingly less-restrictive conditions; 174 and some entailed separate housing
units.175 For example, one jurisdiction reported that its step-down plan, which ranged “from 30 to
360 days” included “increasing privileges, amenities, and movement,” was “individually tailored
to the offender’s needs and may include education, cognitive skills, and/or mental health
programming.”176 Another jurisdiction reported:
Generally, behavior intervention unit residents who served more than 30 days
disciplinary segregation or who have been on administrative segregation status will
have a period of time residing in a transition unit. The transition unit is a step down
program to help prepare people who have been living in the behavior intervention
unit for general population. A person may be eligible for transition based on their
placing behavior, assessment of risk, and participation and progress in the behavior
modification wing. Individuals residing in the transition unit have access to general
population activities and the opportunity to attend a regular treatment group and
receive support from the unit staff. Individuals residing on the transition unit are
reviewed weekly for general population housing options by the placement and
review team. Opportunities for structured enrichment activities, development and
implementation of success plans and increased support from facility staff exist
while being housed in the transition unit.177
Twenty-eight jurisdictions responded with information about step-down programs they had
implemented or were developing.178
The survey asked jurisdictions whether, since January of 2016, they had put into place
“maximum durations on restrictive housing” and to specify what they were. Thirteen jurisdictions
reported establishing some kind of limit on length of stay in restrictive housing, based on factors
such as subpopulation, category of restrictive housing, or type of infraction.179 For example, one
jurisdiction described establishing a maximum duration for “locked housing.”180 Another stated it
had implemented a 30-day maximum length of stay for prisoners with serious mental illness.181
Other jurisdictions said they had implemented maximums for disciplinary restrictive housing
ranging from 60 days to 10 years. 182 Some jurisdictions reported implementing maximum
durations for the phases of restrictive housing.183 A few other jurisdictions reported a limit for a
given offense but did not preclude consecutive sanction. 184 Some jurisdictions required
administrative review of continued placement in restrictive housing. The frequency of reviews
varied from a few months to almost a year.185
Implementing the 2016 ACA Restrictive Housing Performance Based Standards
The ACA, an accrediting body for “correctional facilities, detention centers and community
correctional programs” as well as “probation and parole agencies, health care programs and
electronic monitoring programs,”186 assesses compliance with its Performance Based Standards

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by reviewing accredited systems every three years.187 In 2016, the ACA adopted new Standards
on restrictive housing.188 The 2017–2018 ASCA-Liman survey asked whether jurisdictions had
reviewed their internal restrictive housing policies since the ACA revisions and, if so, whether
jurisdictions relied on the ACA Standards when developing policies.189 We also focused on four
ACA Standards related to release to the community, mental health, juveniles, and pregnancy, and
asked whether jurisdictions had implemented each policy; “substantially implemented this policy
with exceptions;” already had the policy in place prior to the 2016 ACA revisions; or had not
implemented the policy.
Thirty-six jurisdictions reported that they had reviewed their restrictive housing policies
since the release of the 2016 ACA Standards.190 Twenty-five jurisdictions reported that they relied
on the ACA Standards when making jurisdiction-specific policies;191 nine jurisdictions reported
that they considered the Standards, relied on them in part, or used them as a resource in making
policies.192 Eight jurisdictions reported that they did not consult or rely on the ACA Standards.193
Under the 2016 ACA Standard 4-RH-0030, a jurisdiction’s “written policy, procedure and
practice require that the agency will attempt to ensure offenders are not released directly into the
community from Restrictive Housing.”194 Forty-one jurisdictions responded to the survey question
about this Standard. Twenty-six of the 41 jurisdictions reported that they had implemented this
policy,195 and five jurisdictions reported that they had “substantially implemented this policy, with
exceptions.” 196 Some of the jurisdictions reporting that they had partially implemented this
Standard explained that release directly to the community could not always be avoided.197
With regard to mental health, the 2016 ACA Standards defined “serious mental illness” as:
Psychotic Disorders, Bipolar Disorders, and Major Depressive Disorder; any
diagnosed mental disorder (excluding substance use disorders) currently associated
with serious impairment in psychological, cognitive, or behavioral functioning that
substantially interferes with the person’s ability to meet the ordinary demands of
living and requires an individualized treatment plan by a qualified mental health
professional(s).198
ACA Standard 4-RH-0031 states that a jurisdiction’s correctional “agency will not place a person
with serious mental illness in Extended Restrictive Housing.”199 Twenty-one jurisdictions told us
that they had implemented this Standard.200 Four jurisdictions reported that they had “substantially
implemented this policy, with exceptions.”201 We should note that it is not clear if jurisdictions
used the ACA definition of serious mental illness or their own definitions which varied widely.
See Appendix C..202
As for age, the 2016 ACA Standard 4-RH-0034 states that confining individuals “under
the age of 18 years of age in Extended Restrictive Housing is prohibited.”203 Of the 40 jurisdictions
responding, 22 reported that they had implemented the Standard,204 and two jurisdictions reported
that they had “substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions.”205
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With regard to pregnancy, ACA Standard 4-RH-0033 states that prisoners “determined to
be pregnant will not be housed in Extended Restrictive Housing.” 206 Twenty-five of the 41
jurisdictions that responded to this question said that they had implemented it.207 Four jurisdictions
reported that they had “substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions.”208
Evaluating the Effects of Policy Changes
The survey asked whether jurisdictions had studied the effects of reforms in terms of
incidents of violence, prisoner self-harm, prisoner and staff morale, the numbers of persons (or
subsets of persons) placed in restrictive housing, the length of time spent confined, successes of
prisoners on release to the general population and in returning to communities, and the costs of
restrictive housing.
The 14 jurisdictions responding to this question reported that they had or were undertaking
studies.209 Nine jurisdictions reported a focus on incidents of violence in prison.210 Six had studied
the effects on prisoner self-harm,211 three on prisoner morale,212 five on staff morale,213 six on
prisoner success upon return to the community,214 six on prisoner success with coping with life in
prison,215 seven on duration of time in restrictive housing,216 and two on administrative costs.217
Four jurisdictions reported studying the numbers or subsets of people placed in restrictive
housing.218
Conducting research on the many variables affecting restrictive housing is complex and
requires significant funding. One jurisdiction described working with the Vera Institute of Justice
to collect data.219 Another jurisdiction stated that it had “completed a study on the impacts of
restrictive housing. The study permitted grant funding for empirical research on long-term effects
of Restrictive Housing on both inmates and staff.” 220 One prison system reported receiving a
Bureau of Justice grant to study “interventions in restrictive housing settings” such as group
programming and an “individualized Success Plan” for each inmate that “details how he plans to
apply skills in high risk future situations.”221 Another jurisdiction directed us to published research
based on its collection of data about restrictive housing. The 2018 study suggested that “a more
therapeutic restrictive status housing program has the potential to improve the future behavior of
program graduates,” but cautioned that more research was needed.222 Another prison system stated
that it had “revised its data collection system to track information on restricted housing,” such as
“the effectiveness of the restricted housing program,” in order to “provide bases for modifying the
program.”223
Aspiring for More Time Out-of-Cell
The survey also sought information on the number of hours out-of-cell that jurisdictions
believed was desirable for prisoners in an “ideal situation”—i.e., with sufficient resources and no
problems regarding institutional safety.224 Thirty-eight prison jurisdictions provided answers to
this question,225 and 31 specified a desirable number of hours out-of-cell.226
Some jurisdictions specified a certain number of hours per day or per week. 227 The
responses that were given in hours per day ranged from three hours228 to 15–16 hours per day229

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out-of-cell. The responses given in hours per week ranged from 7.5 hours230 to 56 hours per week
out-of-cell.231 A few jurisdictions noted that different times out-of-cell would depend on prisoners’
custody level.232 For example, one jurisdiction replied that for the general population a minimum
of 12 hours daily would be desirable, while for those in disciplinary segregation two hours daily
would be desirable.233
Ten jurisdictions described the kinds of activities that would, in an ideal situation, be
reasons for having time out-of-cell.234 For example, one jurisdiction explained that all prisoners:
should have a productive work or program assignment that occupies 6.5 to 10 hours
per day. Assigned offenders have an additional 2–4 hours of free/recreation time
per day plus movement for meals and medications. The majority of offenders are
in their cells from about 10 pm to 6 am . . . .We aim to maximize out-of-cell time,
but there must be productive activities. We have learned that too much unstructured
out-of-cell time leads to increased disruptive behavior.235
Another jurisdiction explained that an hour or two of daily out-of-cell time “during the
sunlight hours would be good.”236 The jurisdiction elaborated: “Preferably, prisoners should get
one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon of sunlight. This practice would allow the
inmate enough time in direct sunlight to allow the human body to manufacture Vitamin D.”237 One
jurisdiction prefaced its answer with the comment that, “ultimately, no confinement would be the
goal, however, realistically that will not happen.”238
Six jurisdictions stated that they could not provide a concrete number of ideal hours outof-cell because it would depend on a variety of factors.239 One of those jurisdictions explained:
Regrettably, this question is too overbroad and vague to answer specifically as it
varies depending on the type and kind of inmate being managed and, in addition to
dozens of other variables, their historic, recent, and immediate behavior. It also can
vary based on individual preference by the inmate. There are many inmates who do
not want out of cell time, so the term desirable is subjective to the inmate
themselves. In addition, the meaning, content, and quality of the out of cell time is
also a considerable variable that makes it impossible to make a single statement
about the amount of out of cell time which is desirable for prisoners. Finally, it is a
topic that is more rooted in a sociological and philosophical discussion, especially
because it is phrased as a hypothetical.240

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IV. Working to Limit Restrictive Housing: Four Jurisdictions Making Changes
We move from an overview of policy changes across the jurisdictions responding to the
survey to reports from four jurisdictions—Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, and Ohio—in which
correctional leaders describe efforts to make profound changes in the use of restrictive housing.
Below, we provide what correctional leaders wrote about the ways in which they have revised
policies, the challenges they have faced, and the impact of their efforts.
Colorado Reforms: What Do You Mean “Culture”?
Rick Raemisch,
Executive Director, Colorado Department of Corrections
During the fall of 2017, Colorado became the first, and thus far, the only state in the United
States to limit the use of Restrictive Housing to 15 days maximum, and this use is only for the
most serious violations. Extended Restrictive Housing, the former Administrative Segregation, has
been abolished. Following the United Nations Mandela Rules, this change means that a person in
the Colorado prison system who was involved in a serious violation will be in Restrictive Housing
for 22 hours per day, 7 days per week for a maximum of 15 days. Violations are not to be “stacked.”
In other words, no one will be placed in Restrictive Housing for 15 days, removed, then
immediately placed back in.
This change comes on top of others. Through the Department’s policy and then by statute,
Colorado had already ended Restrictive Housing for seriously mentally ill prisoners. In fact,
Colorado developed the policy that, if a person is involved in a disciplinary incident, and it is
determined by a team consisting of correctional officers and clinicians that mental illness was the
cause of the incident, the offender is taken out of the disciplinary process and given treatment. In
addition, Colorado policies prohibit placing pregnant females and juveniles in Restrictive Housing
under any circumstances.
When we initially started our reforms we adopted the philosophy “just open the door.” We
control it. Open it. Of course many discussions, debates, committee work, and staff input were
completed in order to develop the proper procedures and programs to allow us to open the door.
As I have explained elsewhere, when we went in the direction of abolishing extended restrictive
housing, there was no map, and there was no road. Dedicated staff were challenged to complete
the reforms, and they not only accepted the challenge but excelled at it.
When the decision was made to finally go to the 15 day maximum Restrictive Housing, we
adopted a new philosophy: “You can restrain, but you don’t have to isolate.” We were unable to
find proper restraint tables, and we have never used cages, nor would we. Once again, staff
answered the challenges, and we built our own furniture to fit our needs. Formerly dangerous,
restrictive housing prisoners are now out of their cells for a minimum of four hours per day, at
restraint tables with up to four other inmates, for programing and other activities.

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We have all heard the adage: “You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make them drink.”
I don’t believe that. I believe that: “If you throw the horse in the pond they are going to get some
water just trying to get the hell out of the pond.” The point is to give them programming regardless
of whether they want it or not. Although this practice is new, it appears to be working. The goal
of course is first to get them at the table, then give programming, and work towards safely
removing the restraints. The goal is to have the programming be successful to the point where they
can be back in general population.
We have been asked numerous times how we were able to accomplish this. How were you
able to change the culture? When we have responded, we have heard: “That won’t work here, the
culture is too embedded in the way we are doing business now.” Culture was never an issue with
us. Of course our staff was used to using segregation on a regular if not overused basis. It’s not a
question of culture. It’s a question of leadership. There is debate as to whether or not Henry Ford
actually made this famous quote, but he is credited with saying: “If I had asked my customers what
they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.”
The point obviously is that sometimes the vision needs to come directly from the leader. I
gave the Colorado Department of Corrections the vision of where the Department would go. My
approach was not “should we or would we?” Rather, it was: “This is what we are going to do.” I
put together an executive team that believed in my vision. My other philosophy is that if you have
someone who wants to try something different, and it makes sense, give it a try. I’ve stated many
times that if what we do doesn’t work, we can always go back to the way things were before.
I consider my Executive Team and the other corrections leaders here as jet fighter pilots. I
give them the target and then allow them to figure out how to get there. Not all of our staff believed
in our reforms. Some retired, some transferred, but the results of our reforms have changed a good
number of those who did not think it would work. At our two mental health prisons, where
restrictive housing is completely banned, assaults, self-harm, and suicides have decreased
dramatically. Staff enjoy work more because prisoners are acting in a more positive manner. It is
quiet and safer. Safer facilities mean safer communities when they are released.
In the past, we had a waiting list for people with mental illness to be transferred to our
facility for the seriously mentally ill. Today we have over fifty vacant beds. Our other facility for
those with mental health issues has over 45 empty beds. It is too early to tell if the reason for this
is because we have stopped manufacturing or multiplying mental illness by the overuse of
segregation, but before our reforms there were none.
The bottom line: We have one vacant super max, and one re-purposed super max. We are
back on track with our mission of public safety.

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Idaho: Efforts to Reform Restrictive Housing
Henry Atencio
Director, Idaho Department of Correction
Keith Yordy
Warden, Idaho State Correctional Institution,
Idaho Department of Correction
Idaho Department of Correction [IDOC] made a decision to reform restrictive housing
because it was the right thing to do for public and for community safety. Given that ninety-eight
percent of prisoners in IDOC will return to the community, it is inconsistent with IDOC’s mission
to keep a prisoner in long-term restrictive housing, which results in no access to programming or
educational opportunities, until they are released back into the community. Moreover, reforming
restrictive housing has many benefits. It encourages safe and humane practices for the prison
population. Reform permits compliance with international and national law, as the United Nations
has declared that being confined in a cell 23 hours a day for more than 15 days is considered torture.
Prison-based reform reduces IDOC’s exposure to litigation regarding restrictive housing.
IDOC’s reform process began in 2016 and was guided by nationwide standards addressing
restrictive housing, which included principles of the U.S. Department of Justice and the thirteen
guiding principles provided by the Association for State Correctional Administrators (ASCA).1
Early on in the process, IDOC made the decision to include staff from multiple disciplines and at
various leadership levels in the command structure. IDOC formed a command staff group
comprised of agency and division leadership and reached out to external entities, who agreed to
provide feedback and guidance to the agency during the reform process. The external partners
included staff from the State Appellate Public Defenders’ Office, the Office of the Federal
Defenders of Idaho, and the Idaho Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. They have been
an integral part of the process, as they have provided feedback on policy revisions, suggested
language to use, and identified areas where the policy was unclear.
IDOC’s path to reform also entailed having individual members of the department attend
trainings and go on site visits to other states. Wardens, joined by correctional and mental health
staff, visited Arizona and Washington Departments of Correction to see firsthand how reforms
were implemented and to have discussions with those jurisdictions’ staff about challenges and
innovative ideas. In addition, several IDOC agency and facility leaders participated in training at
the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) on restrictive housing reform. Idaho was selected as a
pilot for an on-site NIC restrictive housing training that took place in August of 2017. Attendance
at the training by wardens from facilities that housed men and women and that had long-term
restrictive housing was crucial, as they both gained insight and learned about the importance and
implementation of the restrictive housing guidelines of the U.S. Department of Justice.

1

The ASCA principles are available here: https://www.asca.net/pdfdocs/9.pdf.

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As a result of this process, Idaho wardens began reviewing all prisoners who had been in
long-term restrictive housing to reevaluate them with the goal that placement in restrictive housing
should be reserved only for individuals who posed an imminent threat to the security of the
institution. Doing so entailed taking a comprehensive approach to restrictive housing reform. The
agency decided that two key policies, addressing restrictive housing and the disciplinary process,
had to be updated. As a consequence, a revamped disciplinary policy added an alternative sanction
process and changed the Disciplinary Offense Report (DOR) codes, and the restrictive housing
policy was split into three separate policies—a short-term restrictive housing policy, a long-term
restrictive housing policy, and a protective custody policy. The new policies 2 reflect and
implement a shift in the purposes and in the practices, and the result has been that fewer people
are placed in restrictive housing.
A few specifics are in order. The short-term restrictive housing policy begins with a
statement of purpose reflecting IDOC’s mission statement on restrictive housing reform:
“Restrictive housing protects staff and inmates by segregating those who are the most violent or
present the greatest danger to the safe operations of the facilities.” The policy provides that time
spent in short-term restrictive housing is capped at fifteen days. Past that point, prisoners must be
afforded, at a minimum, three hours of out-of-cell time a day and provided with personal property
as they would have in general population. The policy also requires prisoners who have a language
barrier, physical/sight/hearing impairment, or medical or mental health issues to have
accommodations when placed in restrictive housing or an alternative placement, as needed.
Further, IDOC has limited the behaviors that can result in short-term restrictive housing
placement to those that pose an imminent risk to safety. This change in the criteria for entry has
reduced the number of short-term restrictive housing beds at some facilities, and, at others, the
people put into such beds. In addition, some facilities have implemented “calm down” areas for
prisoners to de-escalate, while others have implemented diversionary tiers for those in possession
of drugs or alcohol or who have tested positive on urinalysis tests.
The long-term restrictive housing policy (addressing individuals in such housing for fifteen
days or more) also begins with a statement of purpose, again stemming from IDOC’s mission
statement. “Restrictive housing is a structured program that protects staff and inmates by
segregating those who are the most violent or present the greatest danger to the safe operations of
the facilities.” The policy requires that all prisoners placed into long-term restrictive housing
programs are in Idaho’s “Step Up Program,” which consists of five stages designed to provide
behavioral expectations to prisoners, teach them to identify concepts and skills to assist in behavior
change, and assess their behavior to determine if placement in long-term restrictive housing is
necessary. The policy requires that prisoners identified as having a serious mental illness be
exempted from long-term restrictive housing placement and instead be placed in an alternative
setting, which is usually a mental health unit. Further, the policy adds an administrative review
2

Idaho’s policies can be found at www.idoc.idaho.gov.

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committee for all long-term restrictive housing placements. That committee is at the prisons’
division leadership level and includes both of the deputy chiefs of prisons and the chief
psychologist, who is a non-voting member.
As of the writing of this report in the spring of 2018, the new disciplinary policy is in effect;
the short-term and long-term restrictive housing and the protective custody policies are in the final
drafting stage. The command staff is doing a policy review, and the goal is to have training in
place during the summer of 2018 to complete a rollout of the reforms. And even before the full
implementation, IDOC has seen the impact in the reduction in the numbers of people in long-term
restrictive housing and new methods of responding to problems. One example comes from Idaho
Maximum Security Institution (IMSI), a facility whose operating capacity was 412 inmates prior
to restrictive housing reform and which had included 320 single-occupancy restrictive housing
cells. IMSI has expanded its capacity to house 564 prisoners and as of the end of June, IMSI has
134 prisoners in long-term restrictive housing and 24 in short-term restrictive housing. The facility
has revised its practices to have more prisoners in close-custody general population.
At Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center (PWCC), the facility operating capacity was
313 prisoners prior to restrictive housing reform, with a total of 20 single-occupancy restrictive
housing cells. The current operating capacity has increased to 333. Today, one prisoner under the
sentence of death is in what is termed long-term restrictive housing status, but, in practice, she is
out of her cell three or more hours per day. At the South Idaho Correctional Institution (SICI), 17
short-term restrictive housing beds were taken off line, which enabled the placement of 34
minimum custody general population prisoners to be housed there. As of the end of June 2018, the
population in restricted housing had declined from 294 long-term restrictive housing prisoners to
134 people held in long-term restrictive housing.

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Reflections on North Dakota’s Sustained Solitary Confinement Reform
Leann Bertsch
Director, North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Since late 2015, the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (ND
DOCR) has maintained an approximately 60–70% reduction in the population of its
Administrative Segregation Unit (renamed the Behavioral Intervention Unit or BIU) at the North
Dakota State Penitentiary (NDSP). The number of people residing in BIU as of April 5, 2018 was
24. The daily count within this unit has remained under 40 people over more than two years, down
from over 100 people in 2015. The average length of stay in BIU has fluctuated between 30 and
60 days, although there are a few people who reside in the unit much longer based on the severity
of violence, their expression of continued risk for violence, or their own preference for the BIU
setting.
This population reduction has been sustained by continuing to adhere to a multi-faceted
screening and assessment process. In fact, NDSP was able to convert one of the tiers within BIU
to a preferred housing tier, which is home to 20 of the most consistently pro-social residents within
the facility. Another 20-cell unit was converted to the Administrative Transition Unit, where
people live when they are in the process of moving from BIU to a general population setting. ND
DOCR continues to focus on those who commit any of 10 of the most serious in-custody offenses
that may make a person eligible for BIU placement, with some exceptions for fighting and other
harmful behaviors when they become severe or chronic. ND DOCR also continues to avoid placing
people diagnosed with serious mental illnesses in BIU when possible and divert them to the Special
Assistance Unit for more individualized services when it is determined that it is not safe to keep
them in general population.
The sustained decrease in the number of people in the BIU setting has allowed for staff to
make much better use of their time and to have a greater impact. Corrections officers engage each
resident in friendly conversation, change-oriented discussion, or practice of a cognitive or
behavioral skill at least twice per day. The unit Sergeant is also tasked with planning one prosocial, structured recreational activity each weekend to increase positive engagement with staff
and out-of-cell socialization. Unit staff also provides reinforcement in the form of tangible
property items, extra recreation time, extra showers, and the like, based on the person’s
participation in therapeutic and social activities, as well as the parameters of individualized
behavior plans. Currently, BIU residents can access up to two hours and 40 minutes of recreation
per day when they engage in skill practices and therapeutic groups, in addition to time spent in
groups, individual sessions, and specially-planned enrichment activities.
Behavioral health staff also provides at least one structured leisure activity each week, such
as an art project, mindfulness practice, or a movie. Three times per week they facilitate a group
that focuses on applying skills to reduce or eliminate the use of violence, manage trauma reactions,

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and cope with segregation. Each resident completes an individualized Success Plan, detailing how
he plans to apply skills in high-risk future situations, prior to or soon after moving to the
Administrative Transition Unit. Once the person has moved to the Administrative Segregation
Unit, he has the opportunity to continue to participate in group two times per week to work on
skills application as the amount of time spent in general population settings increases. These group
curricula and the Success Plan served as the foundation to inform a curriculum developed by Dr.
Paula Smith for a Bureau of Justice Assistance Encouraging Innovation Grant related to applying
interventions in restrictive housing settings, which ND DOCR will continue to implement as a data
collection site related to that grant project.
Over the past two and a half years, ND DOCR has sustained a substantial reduction in the
use of the Special Operations Response Team within the BIU (no use of the team at all in this unit
since October 2017), along with a reduction in overall uses of force. The prevalence of negative
behaviors by residents of the unit has also dramatically decreased. ND DOCR believes the focus
on reinforcement of positive change, building friendly relationships between staff and residents,
and allowing residents access to pro-social coping skills (music, television, puzzle books, etc.) are
collectively responsible for these changes. Perhaps our most exciting outcome to date is the fact
that, of the 149 residents placed on BIU program status from October of 2015 to February of 2018,
only 26 have returned to BIU program status. That is a 17% “recidivism” rate into the BIU program.
ND DOCR is working to collect more precise data regarding these outcomes, but we are very
encouraged by these initial results.
These changes, while overwhelmingly positive, have not been without challenges. NDSP
did see a significant increase in physical fights between residents in mid-2016 to mid-2017. This
increase occurred at the same time that our overall prison population was the highest it has ever
been and we have some suspicions that this may be correlated more strongly with the population
increase than the changes in the use of restrictive housing. As the population has slowly stabilized
and begun to decrease, the prevalence of fighting has decreased as well. While most staff members
have been supportive of the changes, there has been a perception that the overall safety of the
facility has been compromised. Factually, there has been no increase in assaults on staff, assaults
on residents by peers, or the overall level of violence perpetrated within the institution. There has
also been a perception that residents are not “held accountable” for rule violations. In reality,
residents continue to receive significant sanctions—the only difference is those sanctions are much
less likely to include lengthy placements in restrictive housing, especially for non-violent offenses.
In order to address the problem of institutional violence more thoroughly, ND DOCR is
excited to begin assessing people entering prison using the Risk of Administrative Segregation
Tool (Labrecque & Smith, 2017) in order to identify those at highest risk for displaying
institutional violence resulting in placement in restrictive housing. A copy of the tool is below.

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Those identified as high risk will then be offered a 10-session group intervention program
focused on establishing a pro-social adjustment to prison and managing high-risk situations for
violence in an effective, non-violent manner. This program will begin in April 2018. Dr. Paula
Smith and Dr. Ryan Labrecque will evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention in preventing
future violence as compared to a no-treatment control group. Another future direction is to develop
a peer support specialist certification program for prison residents, with the goal of providing
additional support to those at risk for placement or placed in BIU.
One way to provide an overview of the outcomes, as of the spring of 2018, is by the chart
below.
Type of Seg.

Investigative

Disciplinary

BIU Program

Total Unit

Avg. # of days

5.55

7.63

18.97

32.14

Type of Seg.

Investigative

Disciplinary

BIU Program

Total Unit

Total # Stays
Over 14 Days

30

38

60

128

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Restrictive Housing: The Challenge of Reforming the Fabric of an Agency
Gary Mohr,
Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction
Restrictive housing reform represents one of the most extensive reforms in the history of
corrections in the United States. The use of restrictive housing to respond to prisoner misbehavior
has been the foundation of correctional management philosophy for over a century. The practice
is embedded in the philosophy and logic of nearly all agency staff and is interwoven into the fabric
of any correctional agency’s culture.
The use of restrictive housing remains an essential part of managing safe and secure prisons.
Changing the way a correctional organization uses restrictive housing requires a delicate balancing
act of improving conditions of confinement for prisoners who are more conducive to rehabilitative
ends, while simultaneously ensuring we protect our staff and prisoners from individuals whose
behavior indicates they are poised to harm others. Further, for most of my 44 years in this work,
restrictive housing has been used as the default penalty for all types of rule violations, whether
violent or not. Changing practices associated with the use of restrictive housing is a delicate
operation because our staff, those who work in the trenches of our prisons, firmly believe the use
of restrictive housing as a default disciplinary sanction is tied directly to their safety. Reforming
the system to use restrictive housing only when there is a threat to safety and security, rather than
as punishment, often becomes viewed as an attempt to jeopardize safety.
Today, that cultural belief has been reinforced by the horrific incidents in prisons
throughout our country from North and South Carolina, to Pennsylvania, Arizona and many other
jurisdictions including Ohio. In 2018, an Ohio Correctional Officer was stabbed 32 times by two
prisoners who were in extended restrictive housing; miraculously, he survived. This event not only
magnified the challenge of continuing to reform restrictive housing, but also changed my life, as
it was a vivid reminder of how precious life is and how we as leaders carry the heavy responsibility
for the welfare of so many. As we continue the much-needed reform regarding the practice of
placing prisoners in confined settings, an area where there is still much work to be done, the
realities and images of individuals who have experienced serious, life-changing incidents cannot
be ignored. The impact on their lives, as well as on the lives of their loved ones and fellow staff
members, must be of paramount concern.
Ohio can clearly report success in reducing prisoners in restrictive housing as evidenced
by data comparing the use of restrictive housing between 2013 to 2017. In fact, there has been a
45% reduction in the number of prisoners in restrictive housing during that time period. While this
reduction is meaningful and significant, it is also a reminder of the need for restrictive housing
now and in the future. The reality is that there are people in prison who pose a serious and direct
threat to others, and we have a duty to protect others from these prisoners. As agency leaders, we
count on our staff in all correctional systems to carry out post orders and follow our directives 24

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hours a day, 7 days a week. Those dedicated public servants must acknowledge and trust their
leaders, even though they will not always agree, or the overall agency goals will not be achieved.
Leaders cannot merely issue edicts directing a course of action when those directives are contrary
to the will of the workforce if they expect the vision of the policy to be realized. In matters that
challenge the foundational beliefs and values of the staff, change must occur over time through
consistent reinforcement of the philosophy underlying the policy direction.
Operational Challenges to Restrictive Housing Reform: The Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC) began restrictive housing reform in late 2013 by conducting
wide-ranging discussions on how and why correctional supervisors/executives use restrictive
housing. In 2014 and 2015, the DRC examined all policies and procedures, even hiring external
consultants to provide insight into current practices, assess areas for improvement, and recommend
a pathway for reform. In 2015, it became apparent restrictive housing reform was intrinsically
linked to discipline reform. As such, the DRC needed to re-examine the entire way prisoner rule
violations were addressed. Below, I outline our reforms.
Reform Initiative A: Prison Disciplinary Reform (Swift, Certain, and Fair): In late 2015 and
early 2016, the DRC began to change the philosophy associated with the offender disciplinary
system to encourage sanctions that adhere to swift, certain, and fair (SCF) principles of discipline.
Most importantly, this change included using alternative sanctions to reduce the use of restrictive
housing. Implementation required, and continues to require, ongoing changes to organizational
culture.
Challenge 1: Operationalizing the changes in sanctioning practices remains an ongoing challenge by trying to achieve consistency, fairness, and immediacy of
application across all prisons.
Reform Initiative B: Alternatives to Restrictive Housing—Limited Privilege Housing: The
DRC has the option in Ohio’s Administrative Regulations to use limited privilege housing. Limited
privilege housing is a condition of confinement that significantly limits a prisoner’s privileges, so
it can be used to respond to low-to-moderate severity rule violations. Limited privilege housing is
not restrictive housing. It is, however, a meaningful sanction that adheres to swift, certain, and fair
principles of sanctioning. It also removes prisoners from the housing area where they committed
their offense. In late 2015 and lasting until today, the DRC greatly expanded the use of limited
privilege housing and encouraged staff to not use restrictive housing as the default placement for
prisoners who have misbehaved unless they posed a danger to the prison or to others.
Challenge 2: Proper utilization of the limited privilege housing sanction has been a
challenge. DRC continues to experience under-utilization and over-utilization of
the sanction as an alternative to restrictive housing, and there is inconsistency in
the security practices between areas.

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Challenge 3: One of the greatest cultural challenges was passive resistance by staff
who, in frustration over being asked not to use “segregation” for many offenses,
assumed an “all or nothing” stance towards security. Simply put, if they could not
place a prisoner in segregation (restrictive housing), then they just had to let
prisoners do “whatever they wanted” and could take no meaningful action. Others
felt a limited privilege housing unit could have a “relaxed” security posture when
in reality limited privilege housing units can be just as secure as a restrictive
housing unit if the type/kind of prisoner needs such levels of supervision. The
critical difference is the out of cell time and access to programming and services
which require all staff to change the way they work.
Challenge 4: A cultural myth developed that restrictive housing reform’s goal was
to reduce the use of restrictive housing regardless of the prisoner’s behavior. DRC
leadership was compelled to constantly remind staff that restrictive housing reform
never meant prisons could not use restrictive housing to address violence or
seriously disruptive behavior. This myth was persistent and remains even when
policies were released providing staff the option of stronger and lengthier
disciplinary sanctions. The written words contained in the policy, as well as emails
sent to all staff, were overshadowed by this mythology that is still persistent five
years into reform.
Reform Initiative C: Widespread Training/Communication on Restrictive Housing:
Throughout 2016 and carrying into 2018, the DRC has revised dozens of policies, lesson plans,
and in-service training on restrictive housing Reform and its related components within the DRC.
Challenge 5: Communication of the “why” behind restrictive housing Reform
remains our prevailing challenge. A significant number of staff still report they do
not understand the reasons for reform despite training, memos, policies, and emails
that have tried to explain all aspects of the reform effort. More importantly, many
of them do not understand the permanence of these changes and are “waiting to go
back to the way it was.” Finally, it cannot be ignored that there are some staff who
simply believe prisoners should be severely restricted while in prison and especially
when they commit any rule violations. It is reasonable to say that when an
organization operates for nearly a century in one manner, it will take a very long
time to change the fundamental beliefs of the staff who operate that organization.
These individuals who, regrettably, exist at all levels in our agency continue to
passively, or sometimes actively, resist restrictive housing reform, likely in the
hope the reform will fail and the DRC will have to return to the status quo which
existed in 2013.
Challenge 6: The volume and pace of change is a significant, on-going challenge
for staff at all levels. Change for any organization is difficult, but the root nature of

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this change coupled with the fact the change requires a shift in personal,
organizational, and leadership philosophy makes it incredibly challenging.
Challenge 7: Staff perceptions exist by some at all levels (line, supervisor, and
executive staff) that are less than supportive of/favorable to restrictive housing
reform efforts thus far. There is a strong feeling these policies are making people
less safe and reform values prisoners over staff safety. The serious incident of the
stabbing of our correctional officer mentioned earlier has kept this belief alive.
Challenge 8: There is substantial message dilution in training and communication.
As information is passed down from each level of leadership and supervision, the
message gets changed and altered, greatly affected by the cultural resistance
outlined in previous challenges. As such, the DRC must continually improve the
content and delivery of the restrictive housing Reform “communication plan.”
Reform Initiative D: Serious Misconduct Panels and External Oversight of Extended
Restrictive Housing: Prior to reform, local wardens possessed the authority independently to place
prisoners into restrictive housing for six months, and in some cases, for a year or more. There was
no centralized oversight for these two review processes. Wardens applied this power based on their
individual perspective about misbehavior rather than an organizational view. In response, the DRC
established the “serious misconduct panel” (SMP) as the only process by which offenders can be
referred to “extended restrictive housing” and implemented centralized oversight of all placements
and releases. The SMP referral is still made by a warden but is approved by a regional director and
the panel is comprised of two exempt employees from a prison other than the one where the offense
occurred.
Challenge 9: There have been concerns expressed that the use of the SMP implies
a mistrust of the professional judgment of local teams who know the prisoners best.
The delicate balancing act of ensuring consistency across all prisons while
respecting local decision makers becomes interpreted as a form of heavy-handed
oversight. In addition, prison leaders believe the new policies curtailed their ability
to control violence and disruption at their prisons.
Challenge 10: The procedural aspects of the SMP are cumbersome and time
consuming. The ongoing challenge is to streamline the SMP process without
hindering the objectivity, due process, or thoroughness of the review.
Reform Initiative E: Conditions of Confinement and Programming for Extended Restrictive
Housing: The DRC examined the conditions of confinement for offenders in extended restrictive
housing and implemented additional programming, meaningful activities, and out-of-cell time.
This process includes enhanced release preparation programs as best exemplified by the Ohio State
Penitentiary [OSP] reversion program. This program introduces pro-social elements such as

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employer engagement, family activities/events, and meals in group settings, including meals with
the warden, into our highest security setting.
Challenge 11: The physical plant and infrastructure of all DRC facilities were not
designed to provide a lot of out-of-cell time for prisoners in restrictive housing. The
facilities were designed according to the philosophy of corrections in the United
States at the time. The last prisons constructed were designed in the mid-1990s,
almost a quarter of a century ago. The only way to offset some of these design
issues is with significant staffing resources, which are very costly and difficult to
appropriate in challenging budgetary environments.
Challenge 12: Self-imposed isolation, even when out-of-cell opportunities are
granted, remains a considerable challenge. Prisoners choose these environments in
a significant number of circumstances.
Challenge 13: It is a continuing challenge to ensure conditions of confinement
differ between restrictive housing, limited privilege housing, and general
population in a meaningful way that sufficiently deters prisoners from engaging in
misbehavior. The more you give prisoners in restrictive housing/extended
restrictive housing/limited privilege housing, the less appealing rule compliant
behavior becomes for prisoners in general population. Over-compensating to assist
restrictive housing/extended restrictive housing prisoners can exacerbate the
problems associated with Challenge 12 and, as has been proven by some cases in
Ohio, actively encourage prisoner misbehavior to achieve a placement into
extended restrictive housing.
Reform Initiative F: Limiting Extended Restrictive Housing for Seriously Mentally Ill
Prisoners and Enhanced Monitoring: The DRC recognizes the potential effects of restrictive
housing on the seriously mentally ill. However, seriously mentally ill prisoners, like others, can
commit very serious acts of violence and disruption unrelated to their mental illness. Furthermore,
even if the violence is related to their mental illness, the threat to the safety of others cannot be
ignored. Therefore, the DRC has implemented practices to closely monitor the utilization of
extended restrictive housing for prisoners with serious mental illness, and placement in extended
restrictive housing for a person with serious mental illness must be approved at the departmental
level. We also use and have expanded high security Residential Treatment Units [RTUs] as an
assessment/diversion opportunity to avoid placement in extended restrictive housing for some
people with serious mental illness.
Challenge 14: The single greatest challenge in this effort is to develop and
implement a “space between” restrictive housing and general population for
dangerous, disruptive, and violent seriously mentally ill prisoners. Efforts to
operate a “secure adjustment unit” for violent, seriously mentally ill offenders were

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unsuccessful. We have added a significant number of Residential Treatment Unit
[RTU] beds for the seriously mentally ill. There remain prisoners who are seriously
mentally ill and violent/disruptive, but do not meet the standard of our mental health
staff for an RTU level of care.
Challenge 15: DRC has expanded the number of high security RTUs, but there
remains a substantial need for more beds and staff.
Challenge 16: Although philosophically we understand the need to treat seriously
mentally ill prisoners differently, if one lessens the sanctions on prisoners solely
because they are seriously mentally ill, other prisoners may perceive a tremendous
injustice. This can cause disruption in housing units where both seriously mentally
ill and non-caseload prisoners are held. In addition, as we attempt to grant more
out-of-cell time and increased staff engagement for seriously mentally ill prisoners
even after they have committed serious acts of violence against staff, we experience
a growing cultural resistance to reform. Staff who are victimized, sometimes
repeatedly, by these prisoners perceive these acts as being unfair and proof there is
lack of care for staff and for the impact that violence by prisoners has on them.
Thus the challenge continues.
Reform Initiative G: Tracking and Data Collection: The DOTS system, our tracking system,
in present form, cannot effectively track people placed in restrictive housing or limited privilege
housing. Since 2013, the DRC has continually developed new methods for measuring restrictive
housing, primarily by using snapshots. Currently, Operations and IT staff are developing a
restrictive housing/limited privilege housing Disciplinary Tracking System integrated into the
DOTS system that, once completed, will provide a comprehensive system for examining
disciplinary sanctions and their utilization, as well as profiles and real-time data on prisoners in
restrictive housing/limited privilege housing. It will track the work flows associated with major
job processes which may affect length of stay in restrictive housing/limited privilege housing
including, but not limited to:
1) Hearing Officer and RIB Decisions
2) SMP referrals, extended restrictive housing placements, and extended restrictive
housing reviews
3) Investigations regarding prison administrative functions such as misbehavior,
protective control, separations, and staff nexus
4) Security Classification Reviews and Increases/Decreases
5) Prisoner Movement and Transfers

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Challenge 17: While waiting for these changes, it is not acceptable to forgo efforts
to track restrictive housing. Reporting mechanisms have changed somewhat over
time and to get accurate data is a cumbersome process that is very labor-intensive.
Conclusion: On December 27, 2010, when I met with Governor Kasich and decided to
accept this journey to oversee the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, he asked me
to do two things. First, we could not afford another Lucasville, the riot that lasted 11 days and
resulted in 10 deaths. Secondly, “Go reform the most unreformed part of government.” While we
have made some very progressive changes in creating reintegration environments, expanded
programming including treatment of the addicted both in and outside our prison walls, expanded
residential treatment beds for the mentally ill, employment partnerships with employers with
experiences both inside the prisons and out in the communities, and engagement with community
faith partners, the challenge of reforming restrictive housing is at the core of that challenge.
Restrictive housing reform remains a challenge to us in Ohio and many other jurisdictions around
our great country.

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V. Calls for Reform and for Abolition: Restrictive Housing in 2018
In this section, we put the data collected through the 2017–2018 ASCA-Liman survey in
the context of actions, in and outside of prison systems, focused on regulating the use of restrictive
housing. As reflected in the analyses thus far, efforts by prison officials to reform isolating
conditions have intensified.
Below we provide a sample of initiatives, legislation, litigation, and public discussion in
the United States and abroad. From these many vectors, we can see that a consensus has emerged
about the harms to individuals held in deeply isolating conditions; to staff working in restrictive
housing; 241 and to community safety. 242 The reiterated theme is that 22 hours or more of
confinement in a small cell for days on end is unwise, unjust, and inefficient. As a result, rules of
correctional systems, statutes, litigation, and research—shaped by prison and health professionals,
prisoners, their families, and their communities—have produced a nationwide commitment to limit
and, in some instances, to abolish, the practices that fall under the rubric of restrictive housing.
Correctional Systems Making Changes
In addition to changes chronicled in responses to our survey, targeted efforts are underway
in several other jurisdictions. Support for some of these efforts comes from the National Institute
of Corrections and the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. Many reforms
have garnered media attention.
As described in its 2018 monograph, Rethinking Restrictive Housing: Lessons from Five
U.S. Jails and Prisons Systems, the Vera Institute of Justice worked on site with the state prison
systems of Nebraska, Oregon, and North Carolina, and with two local jails in New York City and
Middlesex County, New Jersey, all of which were “committed to change.”243
Vera’s 2018 study echoes many of the findings from ASCA-Liman analyses of the policies
governing administrative segregation. 244 In the 2013 monograph, we described the broad
discretion afforded correctional officials in placing individuals in restrictive housing, 245 and in
2014 and 2016, we provided a database of the impact, in terms of the widespread use of restrictive
housing.246 As Vera’s 2018 report recounted, when Vera began working in the five jurisdictions,
it found that restrictive housing conditions were typically “stark, isolated environments with little
sensory stimulation or social interaction.” 247 Vera detailed the heavy reliance on disciplinary
segregation, often imposed for non-violent offenses, such as “disobeying an order,” 248 using
“profane language,” or “disruption.”249 Individuals placed in administrative segregation were not
given “predetermined” release dates or frequently considered for release.250
Vera also raised concerns that some jurisdictions lacked methods to appropriately identify
individuals with mental health needs. In those that did, “high levels of placement in restrictive
housing” were common. 251 As in the ASCA-Liman 2014 Time-in-Cell report, Vera identified
thousands of individuals with mental health needs who were placed in restrictive housing. 252
Further, akin to the findings in this Report,253 Vera concluded that people of color were “placed in

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restrictive housing at higher rates than white people were.”254 Vera also determined that people of
color were “underrepresented in more treatment-oriented forms of restrictive housing and in lessstringent alternatives.” 255 In addition, Vera found, as does this report, that young people were
“more likely than older people to be placed in restrictive housing.” 256 And, as ASCA-Liman had
found in its 2014 survey,257 thousands of people in the jurisdictions Vera studied were sent directly
from restrictive housing to the community.258
Vera’s recommendations likewise reflect the goals of many correctional departments,
courts, legislatures, and prisoners—to reduce “the flow of people into various types of restrictive
housing,” to “shorten the length of time people spend in restrictive housing,” and to improve
conditions of restrictive housing.259 Vera recommended using restrictive housing only “as a last
resort; as a response to the most serious and threatening behavior; for the shortest time possible;
and with the least restrictive conditions possible.”260
Examples of what might improve conditions by providing more stimulation were stark
reminders of the isolation that was the ordinary state of conditions. Thus, digital music players and
“blue rooms” in which prisoners could see nature videos were illustrations of what could be
added.261 Vera proposed that prisons and jails “minimize social isolation and provide access to
programming and mental health treatment” and aim to maximize “out-of-cell time,” reduce
“sensory deprivation and isolation,” and increase “access to medical, mental health, and program
staff.”262 As for specific subpopulations, “Vera recommended that its partner corrections agencies
prohibit the placement of youth (younger than 18), pregnant women, and people who have serious
mental illness, developmental disabilities, or neurodegenerative diseases in any form of restrictive
housing that limits meaningful access to social interaction, exercise, environmental stimulation,
and therapeutic programming.”263 According to the report, as of 2018, the five correctional sites
with which Vera worked were implementing many of these recommendations. 264
Several media reports in 2017 and 2018 highlighted reforms of restrictive housing. For
example, in July of 2018, the news program 60 Minutes aired an episode with Oprah Winfrey on
the conditions in solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay Prison.265 Winfrey interviewed
men currently in segregation, former prisoners who had been held in isolation, and prison officials
who explained how the use of restrictive housing had been changed. The broadcast described how,
after a 2015 legal settlement, California ended indefinite isolation and stopped using gang
affiliation as a basis for sending people to segregation. The program reported 80% fewer prisoners
in the state’s restrictive housing units than had been there a few years ago.
Changes in North Dakota and in Colorado have also been covered in the national media.
Morning Edition, a weekday news program on National Public Radio (NPR), devoted a segment
in July of 2018 to North Dakota’s restrictive housing reforms.266 The piece featured interviews
with Director Leann Bertsch and with correctional staff members. Prison administrators described
implementing group therapeutic sessions for people in segregation and changing how officers
interact with prisoners. For example, officers reported writing up positive prisoner behavior, not

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just citing negative conduct. Prison staff described the improvements they saw, as a result of these
changes, in how prisoners behaved and in prisoner-staff rapport. The same month as the NPR
broadcast, Dashka Slater, a reporter for the magazine Mother Jones, wrote about the state’s
reforms.267 The article described how North Dakota’s changes were inspired by a visit Director
Bertsch and her staff made to a Norway prison. At that facility, prisoners were allowed relative
freedom of movement, the use of solitary confinement was rare, and violent behavior was
uncommon. North Dakota prison administrators related how, after the visit, they set out to reform
their system, including by limiting time spent in restrictive housing. In October of 2017, the New
York Times published an op-ed by Director Rick Raemisch on the decision in Colorado to end
long-term solitary confinement. 268 He wrote about his conviction that “long-term isolation
manufactures and aggravates mental illness.” He explained that, because the vast majority of
prisoners “eventually leave prison,” ending long-term isolation was “simply the right thing to do—
for the inmates and for their communities.”
Other state reforms have been featured in local media. In May of 2018, Oregon news station
KTVZ covered the correctional system’s work with Vera to reduce the use of restrictive housing.269
The broadcast cited Vera’s Rethinking Restrictive Housing, which found that Oregon’s
Department of Corrections had reduced the percentage of people in restrictive housing from 8.8%
to 7.7% over the course of a year. The segment quoted Department of Corrections Director Colette
Peters: “We are committed to both reducing the number of men and women in special housing and
the length of time spent in these units in a safe manner for staff and other adults in custody.” In
September of 2017, Keri Blakinger of the Houston Chronicle reported on the Texas prison
system’s elimination of solitary confinement as punishment.270 Blakinger stated that the change
would affect the roughly 75 people in isolation for disciplinary reasons, but would not affect those
in administrative segregation for reasons like gang affiliation or security threats. The article framed
the state’s reform in the context of a national trend to reduce the use of solitary confinement.
Understanding the Harms of Isolation
Researchers have sought to identify the impact of living in isolation for long periods of
time, and many professionals have concluded that doing so is harmful to physical health, wellbeing, and mental health. Further, young individuals, older adults, and those with physical and
mental disabilities or challenges experience these harms acutely. 271
Age—being young or old—is a factor that exacerbates the dislocations of isolating
conditions. In 2017, when supporting federal legislation to restrict the use of solitary confinement
of juveniles, the American Psychological Association explained that isolation had “especially
devastating consequences to youth whose developmental immaturity leaves them more vulnerable
to adverse reactions to prolonged isolation.” These “effects may be exacerbated for children with
disabilities or histories of trauma or abuse.”272 Older adults face other challenges, given that when
subjected to “a lack of physical exercise, and loneliness,” they have an “elevated risk for the earlier
onset of dementia, physical deconditioning resulting in a heightened subsequent risk of falls,
Vitamin D deficiency, and cardiovascular disease.”273

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For individuals with physical disabilities, isolation can have a “devastating impact,” as
detailed in a 2017 report from the American Civil Liberties Union, Caged In: Solitary
Confinement’s Devastating Harm on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities. 274 As that report
explained, no national data were available on the numbers of persons with disabilities in restrictive
housing; state studies had found that ten to twenty percent of the general prison population had
forms of impairment, including to sight, mobility, and hearing.275
To learn about the impact of isolating conditions, Caged In researchers interviewed
prisoners and staff and reviewed grievances filed by individuals with disabilities in 10 state
systems.276 As the report recounts, restrictive housing generally provided no accommodations for
people unable to hear or see or in need of wheelchairs and other devices to enable them to manage
basic daily tasks. 277 Many people went without hearing aids, Braille materials, sign language
interpreters, and physical therapy.278
To respond, the report proposed that correctional officials: 1) “End all placements of
prisoners with physical disabilities into solitary confinement where their disabilities will be
worsened by such placements;” 2) “Prohibit all placements of individuals with physical disabilities
into solitary confinement due to a lack of accessible cells;” 3) “Provide all accommodations,
including assistive devices and auxiliary aids, to prisoners with physical disabilities who are held
in solitary confinement, unless substantial and immediate security threat is documented,” in which
case, “alternative arrangements must be made and documented;” 4) “Establish data procedures to
improve tracking and monitoring of prisoners with physical disabilities in prisons and jails,
including the number of people with disabilities and those in solitary confinement, or other forms
of restrictive housing, and the reasons for their placement.”279 As that report also noted, litigation
under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act 280 has
been brought to respond to some of the problems.281
Depriving individuals of virtually all normal sociability has long been understood as
disabling. For individuals whose mental well-being is already impaired, restrictive housing has
come to be seen as adding injury to insult. Illustrative is the 2012 statement, adopted by the
American Psychiatric Association, that “prolonged segregation of adult inmates with serious
mental illness, with rare exceptions, should be avoided due to the potential for harm to such
inmates.”282 In 2014, the Committee on Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration,
an ad hoc committee of the National Research Council, concluded that isolation in prisons “can
create or exacerbate serious psychological change in some inmates and make it difficult for them
to return to the general population of a prison or to the community outside prison . . . . Long-term
segregation is not an appropriate setting for seriously mentally ill inmates.”283
In 2016, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) issued a
“position statement,” to “assist health care professionals in addressing the use of solitary
confinement in the facilities” in which they worked.284 Defining solitary confinement as housing
with “minimal to rare meaningful contact with other individuals,” NCCHC promulgated

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“principles,” including that what it termed “prolonged (greater than 15 consecutive days) solitary
confinement” was cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, and harmful to an individual’s
health,285 and that correctional health professionals ought not to “condone or participate” in its
use.286 NCCHC also called for solitary confinement not to “exceed 15 days,”287 and that health
care professionals not “be involved in determining whether adults or juveniles are physically or
psychologically able to be placed in isolation.”288 Further, the organization called for those placed
in solitary confinement to have “as much human contact as possible with people from outside the
facility and with custodial, educational, religious, and medical staff.”289
As reflected in these statements, health care experts (some of whom have participated in
litigation challenging restrictive housing) have concluded that solitary confinement is harmful to
individuals. Those views have been predicated on clinical judgments and academic research, some
of which has been summarized in overview essays that take different views about how to
synthesize the research. One synthesis, published in 2016, concluded that prisoners in isolation
suffered no greater psychological deterioration over time as compared to general population
prisoners and, in fact, showed some improvement. 290 A 2017 overview disagreed, in part because
the 2016 meta-analysis was not a complete account of the existing research 291 and included some
studies that had serious flaws.292 The 2017 essay noted that one of the prominent sources for the
no-comparative-harm point of view had not controlled for the prior experience of prisoners in
segregation before being placed in the less severe form of restrictive housing, and that prisoners
moved in and out of different levels of isolation.293 In contrast, other research has documented a
set of stress-related reactions, sleep disturbances, anxiety, panic, rage, anger, and aggression
associated with profoundly isolating conditions.294
Another researcher termed this impact a “SHU Post-Release Syndrome,” entailing a sense
of “disorientation following release, anxiety in unfamiliar places, a tendency to retreat into small
spaces and limit social interactions, hyper-vigilance and heightened suspicion of others, and
difficulty expressing feelings or trusting others.” 295 Further, he and other researchers have
investigated the physiological impact of solitary confinement, and focused on adrenaline and
cortisol levels, neuron pathways, and brain waves.296 In other studies, researchers have concluded
that isolation created a greater risk of self-harm among prisoners 297 and that, during and after
release, individuals were significantly more likely to show signs of post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) than those not held in isolating conditions.298
The Minnesota Department of Corrections and Minnesota Department of Public Safety
sought to understand the effects of restrictive housing on recidivism. 299 The study’s authors
selected a sample of 6,500 cases from all adult prisoners released in 2014 in Minnesota.300 The
report examined “three different forms of recidivism: supervision revocations (also known as
technical violations), new arrests, and new felony convictions within three years of release.”301,The
researchers concluded that time spent in restrictive housing “increased the risk of supervision
violations,” which are infractions that break the rules set for supervised release but do not
necessarily break the law; however, time in isolation “did not significantly affect the risk of rearrest
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or reconviction.”302 The study also found that “being released to the outside world directly from”
restrictive housing “did not have a large or significant impact” on recidivism. The authors wrote
that future research “should disentangle the relationship” among restrictive housing, mental health,
and recidivism, and should “examine the factors that increase, as well as decrease,” the risk of
placement in segregation.303
Legislative Regulations
Many legislatures have proposed and, in a few jurisdictions, enacted statutes to regulate
and limit the use of restrictive housing. The bills are directed at the process of entry and oversight
to make long-term stays less likely, 304 at lessening isolation by mandating activities akin to those
available to the general population for persons held for 60 days or more in restrictive housing, and
at improving data collection and reporting on the use of restrictive housing.305 As of the summer
of 2018, statutes on restrictive housing were enacted in Massachusetts, 306 voted out of the
legislature for signature by the governor in New York, 307 and introduced in several jurisdictions
across the U.S. — from Hawaii 308 to Nebraska, 309 New Jersey, 310 Virginia, 311 and the United
States Senate.312
An example of a comprehensive reform comes from Massachusetts, which in April of 2018
put a packet of restrictive housing reforms into place for state and county correctional facilities.313
After becoming effective at the end of 2018, the legislation will eliminate the use of restrictive
housing to protect individuals beyond 72 hours, “unless the commissioner, the sheriff or a designee
of the commissioner or sheriff certifies in writing: (i) the reason why the prisoner may not be safely
held in the general population; (ii) that there is no available placement in a unit comparable to
general population; (iii) that efforts are being undertaken to find appropriate housing and the status
of the efforts; and (iv) the anticipated time frame for resolution.”314 Once appropriate housing is
located for a prisoner in need of protection, that housing must afford the prisoner “approximately
the same conditions, privileges, amenities and opportunities as in general population.”315
The Massachusetts legislation will also change the decision-making process for placing
people in restrictive housing. The statute will require “placement reviews” by a “multidisciplinary”
team 316 and will establish a restrictive housing oversight committee,317 to which reports are to be
made monthly on the number of prisoners in restrictive housing in each state and county
correctional facility.318 For those held 60 days or more, the correctional department is to provide
“access to vocational, educational, and rehabilitative programming, to the maximum extent
possible consistent with the safety and security of the unit.”319
In addition, Massachusetts’s 2018 law will bar using a person’s gender identity or sexual
orientation as a ground for placing a person in restrictive housing.320 The legislation will also ban
restrictive housing for pregnant prisoners.321 The statute will impose limits on placement of people
found to have “a serious mental illness,” as discussed below.

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As of the spring of 2018, legislation to eliminate or to limit restrictive housing for
subpopulations had been enacted in California, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and Tennessee, and
proposed in several other jurisdictions, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Nebraska, New Jersey,
New York, and Virginia.322 One focus is on juveniles, where “room confinement” is the term used
to describe isolating young people. 323 For example, beginning in 2016, California prohibited
placing juveniles in room confinement “for the purposes of punishment, coercion, convenience, or
retaliation by staff”324 and required that before using room confinement, “other less restrictive
options have been attempted and exhausted, unless attempting those options poses a threat to the
safety or security of any minor, ward, or staff.”325 Room confinement is presumptively to be less
than four hours, with renewed authorization from a facility supervisor required every four hours.326
Colorado’s 2016 statute provides that “a youth may not be held in seclusion under any
circumstances for more than eight total hours in two consecutive calendar days without a written
court order.”327 In 2017, Washington, D.C. enacted legislation requiring that room confinement
for juveniles “be used for the briefest period of time possible and not for a time to exceed 6
hours,” 328 and prohibiting “room confinement on a juvenile for the purposes of discipline,
punishment, administrative convenience, retaliation, or staffing shortages.” 329 The Tennessee
Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 includes a provision prohibiting seclusion of children in
detention.330 A bill in Nebraska proposes a limit of three hours of room confinement “in the case
of a juvenile who poses a substantial and immediate risk of physical harm to others” and 30
minutes “in the case of a juvenile who poses a serious and immediate risk of physical harm to
himself or herself.”331 The bill would also prohibit room confinement as punishment.332 Proposed
legislation in Connecticut would limit the use of solitary confinement for children in pre-trial
detention.333
Other statutes focus on the use of restrictive housing for individuals with mental health
issues. Statutes enacted or proposed generally provide for prohibitions, coupled with clauses
permitting brief stays under exigent circumstances. For example, in 2017, Colorado prohibited the
placement of “a person with a behavioral or serious mental health disorder in long-term isolated
confinement except when exigent circumstances are present.” 334 In Massachusetts, a “prisoner
shall not be held in restrictive housing if the prisoner has a serious mental illness or a finding has
been made . . . that restrictive housing is clinically contraindicated,” 335 and within 72 hours after
such a placement, the custodian certifies that the prisoner cannot “be safely held in the general
population,” that no space is available in a “secure treatment unit,” that efforts are underway to
identify alternative, “appropriate housing,” and that a “time frame” to do so is laid out.
Litigation and Consent Decrees
Challenges to correctional systems as well as to decisions in individual cases continue to
bring the harms of restrictive housing to the attention of judges. The case law is voluminous; the
discussion here offers a few highlights of rulings since 2016. We begin with institutional cases
focused on subpopulations of individuals with mental health issues, juveniles, and persons
confined to restrictive housing solely because of their capital sentences.

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A major ruling came from the District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, 336 which
had certified a class of “all persons with a serious mental illness who are now, or will in the future
be, subject to defendant’s mental health care policies and practices” within the Alabama
Department of Corrections facilities.337 At the time of the litigation, the Alabama system included
19,500 prisoners, of whom 3,400 were receiving “some type of mental-health treatment.”338 After
a seven-week trial, the federal district court in 2017 found that “inadequacies in the mental-health
care system start . . . with intake screening” in which “likely thousands” of prisoners with mental
illness are missed.339 The court concluded that even when mental health issues were identified,
“prisoners receive significantly inadequate care,” including for those who had discussed
committing suicide.340 The court held that the care provided to mentally ill persons violated the
constitutional obligation not to be deliberately indifferent to the “serious medical needs of
prisoners.” 341 Included as Eighth Amendment violations were the placement of
“seriously mentally ill prisoners in segregation without extenuating circumstances and for
prolonged periods of time; placing prisoners with serious mental-health needs in segregation
without adequate consideration of the impact of segregation on mental health; and providing
inadequate treatment and monitoring in segregation.”342 Since its ruling, the court has accepted
proposed remedies, including a process to identify prisoners with serious mental illness so that
they are not placed in segregation, absent extenuating circumstances.343
The South Carolina Department of Corrections recently agreed to a settlement in a class
action lawsuit by incarcerated individuals with serious mental illness.344 The plaintiffs had claimed
that the department’s failure “to provide reasonably adequate medical treatment” to prisoners with
serious mental illness violated the state constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual
punishment.345 The suit alleged that mentally ill prisoners were often punished by being placed for
long periods of time in administrative segregation, which, the complaint stated, exacerbated mental
illness.346 The complaint asserted that the prison system did not “have adequate treatment space or
staff to adequately monitor or evaluate” mentally ill individuals in segregation.347 A state trial court
judge held that South Carolina’s treatment of seriously mentally ill prisoners violated the state
constitution.348 One of the court’s findings was that the “inappropriate and extended reliance on
segregation to manage inmates with serious mental illness, particularly those in crisis, exposes
them to a substantial risk of serious harm,” which “contributed to the deaths” of multiple people
in segregation.349 After the state and the plaintiffs reached an agreement, the state’s appeal was
dismissed.350 The settlement addressed the six areas of serious deficiencies that the trial court’s
ruling had outlined, including ending “inappropriate segregation of offenders in mental health
crisis.”351
South Carolina reported a number of changes to its restrictive housing regime since
agreeing to these reforms. As South Carolina explained, the settlement contemplated “a multi-year
compliance process with phased-in implementation,” that will be assessed by “an Implementation
Panel of two experts who conduct periodic site visits and review reports and records.” The prison

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system described hiring a deputy director to oversee compliance with the settlement. The plan
included the following measures:
(1) the development of a comprehensive mental health treatment program that prohibits
the inappropriate segregation of inmates in mental health crisis; (2) access for
segregated inmates to group and individual therapy to include more out of cell time for
segregated mentally ill inmates; (3) timely sessions for segregated inmates with
qualified mental health practitioners; (4) improvement in the cleanliness and
temperature of segregation cells; (5) implementation of a formal quality management
program under which segregation practices and conditions are reviewed; and (6)
development of a training program for officers concerning appropriate methods of
managing mentally ill inmates.
South Carolina also reported creating a “Quality Improvement and Risk Management Division
within the Office of Legal and Compliance to monitor and report compliance with the settlement
requirements.” The correctional system further described implementing a “Behavioral
Management Unit policy” in August 2016, “with the purpose of providing inmates whose mental
health needs likely contribute to their segregation status with programming, treatment, and
structure as an alternative to long term placement in restrictive housing.”352 Despite stating that it
was “making steady progress” to comply with the agreement, South Carolina explained that it was
“hampered by staffing deficits,” which it was addressing with “retention teams to mentor new
officers and work with officers considering leaving the agency.”
In New York City, a settlement of a class action involving isolation of pre-trial detainees
resulted in awards to individuals confined there.353 The plaintiffs, former detainees at Rikers Island,
had alleged that the New York City Department of Corrections violated the U.S. Constitution by
holding pretrial detainees in solitary confinement or punitive segregation for no legitimate purpose
and without providing due process.354 The city agreed to pay a total of $5 million to 470 individuals
placed in solitary confinement between 2012 and 2015.355 Each member of the class was to receive
a minimum of $175 per day spent in solitary confinement or punitive segregation. Individuals
diagnosed as having a serious mental illness or who were under the age of 18 at the time of
confinement were to receive $200 per day spent in confinement.356
In August 2018, a federal district court judge approved a $240,000 settlement for four
teenagers held in solitary confinement in Washington state.357 The youths had been held in adult
detention facilities while awaiting trial. In October 2017, they filed a class action lawsuit alleging
that King County’s practice of holding them in long-term solitary confinement violated the Eighth
and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article 1, section 14 of the
Washington Constitution, which provides that “cruel punishment” shall not be inflicted.358 Under
the terms of the settlement, King County agreed that, in addition to compensating the four
individuals, it would institute a ban on solitary confinement of juveniles in all of its detention
facilities. The settlement provided for exceptions “when based on the juvenile’s behavior,” when
“necessary to prevent imminent and significant physical harm” to the juvenile or others, and when

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“less restrictive alternatives were unsuccessful.”359 The settlement further stipulated that solitary
confinement for all juvenile detainees “may not be used for disciplinary or punishment
purposes.”360 In addition, the county consented to having mental health or medical staff assess any
juvenile within eight hours of placement, and to notify a parent or legal guardian when a juvenile
is held in isolation for longer than eight consecutive hours.361
Many courts have determined that isolation of juveniles is unlawful. For example, in
Tennessee in 2017, a federal district court held that a class of incarcerated youth were “likely to
succeed on their claims that juveniles being detained in solitary confinement or isolation for
punitive or disciplinary purposes constitutes . . . inhumane treatment”362 and issued a preliminary
injunction barring all solitary confinement for juveniles as punishment or discipline.363 In another
case, citing the “broad consensus among the scientific and professional community that juveniles
are psychologically more vulnerable than adults,”364 the federal district court for the Northern
District of New York concluded that the plaintiffs were substantially likely to succeed on their
claim that punitive solitary confinement of youth violated the Eighth Amendment.365 In 2017, the
Juvenile Law Center and the ACLU of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit challenging state officials’ use
of solitary confinement, shackling, and pepper spray in two youth detention facilities366 and won
a ruling barring the use of those forms of restraint for youths.367 In January of 2018, the Wisconsin
legislature enacted legislation to close, by 2021, the two juvenile detention facilities at issue in the
lawsuit.368 The case ended with a settlement to eliminate punitive juvenile solitary confinement
within the coming year.369
Another set of cases focus on the practice of placing individuals in restrictive housing
solely because they have capital sentences. That practice has repeatedly drawn the attention of U.S.
Supreme Court justices. In 2015, in Davis v. Ayala, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurrence
to underscore that “years on end of near-total isolation” impose “a terrible price.”370 Further, he
noted that judges putting a person in long-term solitary confinement ought to reflect on the harm
to mental health entailed. 371 In 2017, Justice Breyer responded to his colleagues’ denial of a
petition for a stay of execution in Texas by questioning the constitutionality of extended solitary
confinement for death row prisoners: “If extended solitary confinement alone raises serious
constitutional questions, then 20 years of solitary confinement, all the while under threat of
execution, must raise similar questions, and to a rare degree, and with particular intensity.”372
In the lower courts, several lawsuits have challenged the use of a capital sentence to place
people into restrictive housing. Lawsuits filed in Arizona373 and in California374 sparked changes
in the use of automatic solitary confinement for death-row prisoners. Other cases challenging
automatic use of restrictive housing for individuals sentenced to death are pending in Florida,375
Louisiana, 376 and Pennsylvania. 377 In another case involving two individuals whose capital
sentences were vacated and who remained in solitary confinement for years thereafter, the Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that “inmates on death row whose death sentences have been
vacated have a due process right to avoid continued placement in solitary confinement on death
row, absent . . . meaningful protections” that the decision outlined.378
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We should note that not all departments of corrections place individuals with capital
sentences in restrictive housing. As detailed in Rethinking Death Row: Variations in the Housing
of Individuals Sentenced to Death, 379 most states give discretion to prison systems to decide how
to house prisoners. 380 This 2016 report provided accounts from correctional leaders in North
Carolina, Missouri, and Colorado who had housed capital-sentenced prisoners in settings offering
them meaningful opportunities to interact with others. 381 Researchers on “mainstreaming” deathsentenced prisoners in Missouri concluded more than two decades ago that, while integration of
these prisoners entailed some challenges, “integration was a viable, effective approach.” 382
Moreover, a 2016 study found no evidence that integrating such prisoners was a source of more
violence in prisons.383
Other cases, filed by individuals, have resulted in decisions about the harms of placement
in restrictive housing for years, and in some instances, for decades. In one Pennsylvania case, a
prisoner who had served 36 years in solitary confinement challenged the constitutionality of his
continued confinement and won an injunction to release him to general population.384 The federal
district court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania found that the “the extraordinary duration”
of the prisoner’s confinement, combined with “the harsh consequences of involuntary isolation”
amount to a “deprivation of a constitutional proportion;”385 “retention in the RHU will protract his
extant injuries and expose him to an imminent and probable risk of even greater psychological
damage.”386
Restrictive Housing as a Global Concern
The close attention to restrictive housing practices in the United States is part of a
worldwide trend of concern about this practice, 387 which was addressed in the United Nations
Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, commonly known as the “Nelson
Mandela Rules.”388 The Rules define solitary confinement as being held for 22 hours or more a
day for longer than 15 days without “meaningful human contact.”389 The rules state that “solitary
confinement shall be used only in exceptional cases as a last resort, for as short a time as possible
and subject to independent review, and only pursuant to the authorization by a competent authority,”
and “shall not be imposed by virtue of a prisoner’s sentence.”390 In addition, the Rules provide that
“solitary confinement should be prohibited in the case of prisoners with mental or physical
disabilities when their conditions would be exacerbated by such measures.”391 Further, “indefinite”
and “prolonged solitary confinement” should not be used, 392 and women and children should not
be held in solitary confinement.393
Litigation in various national courts, transnational commissions, and non-governmental
organizations continues to document and in some instances circumscribe the harms of isolating
confinement. In Canada, trial courts in Ontario and in British Columbia in 2017 found aspects of
administrative segregation unlawful. 394 The Ontario decision concluded that the lack of
independent review of a decision to place a prisoner in restrictive housing violated the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms because of failures “to provide the procedural safeguards required by the
principles of fundamental justice.” 395 The court found that putting people into “administrative

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segregation amounts to a significant deprivation of liberty” 396 and that “placing an inmate in
administrative segregation imposes a psychological stress, quite capable of producing serious
permanent observable negative health effects.”397 The court did not, however, find that prolonged
administrative segregation for more than 15 days constitutes “cruel and unusual treatment or
punishment,” as prohibited under Section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.398 The court
also did not conclude that segregation of young adults and the mentally ill violated that
prohibition.399 As of this writing, the decision has been stayed pending appeal.400
In British Columbia, after hearing from dozens of witnesses including experts on
administrative segregation and prisoners in administrative segregation,401 a trial court declared that
Canadian statutes and regulations providing for segregation violated Section 7 of the Charter’s
“right to life, liberty, and security of the person.” The court based its finding on the fact that the
relevant laws authorized “prolonged, indefinite administrative segregation,” that internal review
depended on the institutional head (warden), and that prisoners were deprived of “right to counsel
at segregation hearings and reviews.”402 The court found that use of segregation also violated the
Charter’s Section 15 right to “equal protection and equal benefit of the law.”403 The court reached
this determination based on the laws’ authorization of “administrative segregation for the mentally
ill and/or disabled” and “a procedure that resulted in discrimination against Aboriginal inmates.”404
The court concluded that “administrative segregation . . . is a form of solitary confinement that
places all Canadian federal inmates subject to it at significant risk of serious psychological harm,
including mental pain and suffering, and increased incidence of self-harm and suicide.” The court
stated that the “risks of these harms are intensified in the case of mentally ill inmates,
but that all prisoners “subject to segregation are subject to the risk of harm to some degree.”405
The court held, however, that “not every application of the impugned legislation will” “amount to
cruel and unusual punishment.” 406 The court also found that the segregation laws were not
“arbitrary.”407 As of this writing, the judgment was stayed pending appeal.408
In Europe, supranational and non-governmental organizations have called for reforms of
restrictive housing practices. The Council of Europe’s European Committee on Crime Problems
issued a report in May 2018 analyzing the need to update the European Prison Rules409 so as to
increase regulation of solitary confinement. Doing so would entail bringing the European Prison
Rules in line with the standards of the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture
and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) and with the Nelson Mandela Rules.410
That report called for a new rule on solitary confinement in accordance with the 2011 CPT
standards to address administrative segregation as a form of solitary confinement.411 Those rules
set forth principles of proportionality, lawfulness, accountability, necessity, and nondiscrimination in the use of solitary confinement, and called for the “material conditions” of such
confinement to include “access to natural light,” sufficient artificial light for reading,
communication mechanisms, and showers as often as prisoners in the “normal regime.”412
In 2017, the CPT published a report on detention conditions in Germany.413 One of the
areas of concern was the use of prolonged solitary confinement and solitary confinement for
ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

94

juveniles. The CPT recommended that prisoners be held for no more, and preferably fewer, than
14 days in disciplinary solitary confinement.414 In addition, the CPT endorsed the Nelson Mandela
Rules’ prohibition on solitary confinement for juveniles. 415 The CPT also observed significant
differences among institutions: in some prisons, disciplinary solitary confinement was imposed
only rarely and usually for a short period of time, while in others, it was imposed much more
frequently and in many cases for up to four weeks.416
In February 2018, the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) published a study on the use of
solitary confinement and restricted regimes.417 The report defined “solitary confinement” as 22 or
more hours of confinement a day in a cell, and “restricted regimes” as 19 hours a day or more in
cell.418 The report found that while the number of prisoners in solitary confinement decreased from
July 2013 to October 2017, the overall number of prisoners in restricted regimes had increased,
with 428 individuals in restricted regimes, most subject to 21 hours in cell, in October 2017.419
The report made many recommendations including “full compliance with the Mandela Rules” and
that provisions be made to “set the minimum out-of-cell time at 8 hours per day.” The report also
recommended that separation “not be permitted for reasons of punishment, but only for reasons of
safety in emergency situations, and for the shortest possible period of time”; that “adults with
mental health difficulties or mental or physical disabilities” not be put into solitary confinement;
and that a parallel “absolute prohibition” be in place for “children.”420 Further, the report called
for the Irish Prison Service to “regularly collect and publish data relating to the length of time
prisoners spend on restricted regimes in all prisons.”421

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VI. Comparing the Numbers of People in Restrictive Housing in 2015–2016
and in 2017–2018
As we noted, we have data from 43 jurisdictions, housing collectively about 80.6% of the
U.S. prison population and reporting 49,197 people in restrictive housing. We therefore estimated
that, if the proportion of those held in restrictive housing in jurisdictions that did not provide
information mirrored that of those that did, 61,000 people were in restrictive housing in the fall of
2017.
In this concluding section, we put together materials from the 2015–2016 and the 2017–
2018 ASCA-Liman surveys by analyzing some of the data provided by the 40 jurisdictions that
responded with information on restrictive housing populations in both surveys.422 That comparison
permits insights into if and how the use of restrictive housing changed during the interval between
the two surveys. As detailed below, the numbers of prisoners in restrictive housing decreased in
some jurisdictions and increased in others.423
As displayed in Table 21, across these 40 jurisdictions, the aggregate number of prisoners
reported to be in restrictive housing decreased by 9,444 prisoners, from 56,337 in 2015 to 46,893
in 2017. In 29 of these 40 jurisdictions, the number of prisoners reported in restrictive housing
decreased from 2015 to 2017.424 The five jurisdictions with the largest decreases in numbers of
prisoners in restrictive housing population accounted for about three-quarters of the aggregate
reduction across jurisdictions.425 In 11 jurisdictions, the number of prisoners reported in restrictive
housing increased from 2015 to 2017.426
Across these 40 jurisdictions, the percentage of prisoners in restrictive housing decreased
from 5.0% in 2015 to 4.4% in 2017. In 28 jurisdictions, the percentage of prisoners reported to be
in restrictive housing decreased from 2015 to 2017.427 The largest reduction in the percentage of
prisoners in restrictive housing in a single jurisdiction was from 14.0% in 2015 to 4.7% in 2017.428
In 12 jurisdictions, the percentage of prisoners reported to be in restrictive housing increased
during this time period.429 The largest increase in the percentage of prisoners in restrictive housing
in a single jurisdiction grew from 14.5% in 2015 to 19.0% in 2017.430 Figure 15 and Figure 16
detail the percentage of prisoners in restrictive housing by jurisdiction in two ways: Figure 15
displays the percentages in both years, and Figure 16 provides change in percentages.
What accounts for the changing numbers is unclear. Variables include new policies and
practices on restrictive housing, changes in facilities and budgets, litigation, statutes, and the
overall numbers of people in prison systems as prisoners and staff. For example, in the 40
jurisdictions analyzed here, the total custodial population for which we also have data on restrictive
housing decreased by 69,499 people from 1,124,695 incarcerated persons in 2015 to 1,055,196 in
2017.431 In 20 of the 29 jurisdictions in which restrictive housing numbers declined, so too did the
total prison population.432 In two of the 11 jurisdictions that had an increase in restrictive housing,
the total prison population increased as well.433

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Those two variables—total prison population and restrictive housing population—do not
always match up or move in the same direction. In the Federal Bureau of Prisons, for example, the
total prison population decreased to a larger extent than did the restrictive housing population. In
2015, 4.7% of the federal prison population was reported to be in restrictive housing. In 2017, 5.2%
of the federal prison population was reported to be in restrictive housing. Thus while the total
number of federal prisoners in restrictive housing decreased, the percentage of federal prisoners in
restrictive housing increased.
Table 21

Alabama*
Alaska
Arizona
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware*
FBOP*
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana*
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana

Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Comparisons of Restrictive Housing Populations
in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018
(n = 40)
2015 Total
2017 Total
Custodial
Custodial
Population
Population
for
for
Facilities
2015
2015
Facilities
2017
2017
Reporting Population Percentage Reporting Population Percentage
Restrictive
in
in Restrictive
in
in
Housing Restrictive Restrictive
Housing Restrictive Restrictive
Data
Housing
Housing
Data
Housing
Housing
24,549
1,402
5.7%
21,592
855
4.0%
4,919
352
7.2%
4,393
378
8.6%
42,736
2,544
6.0%
42,146
2,723
6.5%
18,231
217
1.2%
18,297
10
0.1%
16,056
128
0.8%
14,137
328
2.3%
4,342
381
8.8%
4,333
43
1.0%
189,181
8,942
4.7%
153,839
7,974
5.2%
56,656
3,880
6.8%
54,723
3,200
5.8%
4,200
23
0.5%
3,713
13
0.4%
8,013
404
5.0%
7,161
310
4.3%
46,609
2,255
4.8%
42,177
921
2.2%
27,508
1,621
5.9%
26,317
1,741
6.6%
8,302
247
3.0%
8,283
167
2.0%
9,952
589
5.9%
9,886
459
4.6%
11,669
487
4.2%
12,000
408
3.4%
18,515
2,689
14.5%
14,291
2,709
19.0%
19,687
1,485
7.5%
21,785
1,417
6.5%
10,004
235
2.3%
9,047
443
4.9%
42,826
1,339
3.1%
39,858
903
2.3%
18,866
185
1.0%
12,940
529
4.1%
32,266
2,028
6.3%
33,204
2,990
9.0%
2,554
90
3.5%
1,769
113
6.4%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

97

Nebraska
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Washington
Wisconsin*
Wyoming
Totals

5,456
20,346
7,389
52,621
38,039
1,800
50,248
27,650
14,724
50,349
20,978
3,526
20,095
148,365
6,497
16,308
20,535
2,128
1,124,695

598
1,370
663
4,498
1,517
54
1,374
1,552
630
1,716
1,068
106
1,768
5,832
912
274
751
131
56,337

11.0%
6.7%
9.0%
8.5%
4.0%
3.0%
2.7%
5.6%
4.3%
3.4%
5.1%
3.0%
8.8%
3.9%
14.0%
1.7%
3.7%
6.2%
5.0%

5,178
19,368
7,047
50,764
37,259
1,830
49,954
26,895
14,574
46,920
19,938
3,927
22,160
145,409
6,293
17,046
22,589
2,154
1,055,196

328
1,011
294
2,666
1,109
8
1,282
1,368
938
1,498
737
90
1,181
4,272
296
387
713
81
46,893

6.3%
5.2%
4.2%
5.3%
3.0%
0.4%
2.6%
5.1%
6.4%
3.2%
3.7%
2.3%
5.3%
2.9%
4.7%
2.3%
3.2%
3.8%
4.4%

* In 2015, the number used for total custodial population was the number of prisoners for which the
jurisdiction had restrictive housing data. For the current survey, we used the total custodial population for
which the jurisdiction had restrictive housing data and that was under the direct control of the jurisdiction.
In 2015, some jurisdictions had restrictive housing data for facilities that were not under their direct control
and included those prisoners in their 2015 survey response. Those jurisdictions are marked with an asterisk.
Differences between the 2015 and 2017 total custodial population for these jurisdictions may therefore
result from changes in the calculation of the total custodial population rather than changes in the
jurisdictions’ numbers of prisoners.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

98

Figure 15

Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Comparisons of Percentages of Prisoners
in Restrictive Housing Populations in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018
(n = 40)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

99

Figure 16

Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Comparisons of the Changes in Percentage
of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing Populations in 2015–2016 and
in 2017–2018
(n = 40)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

100

Another window into changes over time comes from the numbers on length of time in
restrictive housing provided by the 31 jurisdictions responding to those questions in both
surveys.434 Table 22 and Table 23 show that, overall, the numbers of individuals in restrictive
housing across most time periods decreased from 2015 to 2017. The number of individuals in
restrictive housing for 15 days to one month increased by 6.5%; one to three months increased by
0.8%; three to six months decreased by 13.2%; six months to one year decreased by 30.0%; one
to three years decreased by 40.4%; three to six years decreased by 33.1%; and six or more years
decreased by 25.9%.
As shown in Table 22, the number of prisoners in restrictive housing for six months or less
decreased in about as many jurisdictions as it increased. The number of prisoners in restrictive
housing for time periods longer than six months decreased in more jurisdictions than it increased.
The number of individuals in restrictive housing who were being held from 15 days to one
month decreased in 15 jurisdictions, stayed the same in one jurisdiction, and increased in 15
jurisdictions. The number of individuals in restrictive housing from one month to three months
decreased in 14 jurisdictions, and increased in 17 jurisdictions. The number of individuals in
restrictive housing from three months to six months decreased in 17 jurisdictions, stayed the same
in one jurisdiction, and increased in 13 jurisdictions.
The number of individuals in restrictive housing from six months to one year decreased in
23 jurisdictions, stayed the same in one jurisdiction, and increased in seven jurisdictions. The
number of individuals in restrictive housing from one year to three years decreased in 23
jurisdictions, stayed the same in one jurisdiction, and increased in seven jurisdictions. The number
of individuals in restrictive housing from three years to six years decreased in 20 jurisdictions,
stayed the same in four jurisdictions, and increased in seven jurisdictions. The number of
individuals in restrictive housing over six years decreased in 18 jurisdictions, stayed the same in
eight jurisdictions, and increased in five jurisdictions.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

101

Table 22

Comparing the Numbers of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Length
of Time in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018*
(n=31)
15 days – 1
6 months –
1–3 months 3–6 months
month
1 year

1–3 years

3–6 years

6+ years

Alaska
124 72
74
78
49
50
60 25
43
31
5
0
0
0
Arizona
140 428
472 831 530 433 809 462 488 489 34 72 71
8
Colorado
64 10
65
0
64
0
23
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
Delaware
25
5
99
25
84
6
76
7
67
0 12
0 18
0
FBOP
1,690 1,764 3,802 3,690 1,449 1,382 929 609 731 254 183 120 158 155
Hawaii
21 23
2
0
0
9
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Indiana
212 131
224 348 388 281 496 354 175 391 80 121 46 115
Iowa
97 56
80
98
30
10
24
3
16
0
0
0
0
0
Kansas
125 176
146 207
87
61 105 15
94
0 22
0 10
0
Kentucky
139 671
222 130
52
45
41 14
28
1
4
0
1
0
Louisiana
327 332
551 630 334 449 302 445 450 517 221 346
0
0
Massachusetts
2 76
3 118
12
50
65 28
71
31 24
5 43
4
Mississippi
3 399
21
69
29
40
41 12
69
7 17
1
5
1
Montana
58
8
0
34
67
30
2 24
4
11
0
6
3
0
Nebraska
48 19
121
94 158 102
87 81 106
32 48
1 30
3
New Jersey
54 150
247 398 295 178 354 100 184
79 128 36 108 70
New York
1,615 757 1,454 1,218 671 416 257 182 101
73 32 13
0
7
North
461 602
579 205 460 280
12 21
4
1
1
0
0
0
Carolina
North Dakota
8
3
13
4
12
2
17
0
4
0
0
0
0
0
Ohio
119 226
360 228 181 243 253 271 162 183 43 49 22 22
Oklahoma
169 384
270 481 206 224 270 156 490 106 77 17 70
0
Oregon
90 126
152 291 277 152
81 41
26
30
4
7
0
1
Pennsylvania 349 305
524 517 288 252 156 126 157 106 52 41 190 151
South
238 138
370 207 128 105 114 131 151 102 67 12
0 42
Carolina
South Dakota
18 18
16
6
10
10
15 16
27
21 12 12
8
7
Tennessee
89 110
239 276 222 237 353 280 500 244 166 31 205
3
Texas
109 141
204 263 277 326 537 474 1,840 931 1,278 811 1,587 1,326
Utah
233
2
169
33 173 232 125 29 166
0 35
0 11
0
Washington
16
5
55
82
68 107
70 106
37
64 16 11 12 12
Wisconsin
278 221
285 345
88
91
60 41
36
13
4
2
0
0
Wyoming
8 21
30
31
24
25
59
2
9
1
0
1
1
0
Totals
6,929 7,379 10,849 10,937 6,713 5,828 5,793 4,055 6,237 3,718 2,565 1,715 2,599 1,927
* Shaded cells contain values from the 2015–2016 survey. Unshaded cells contain values from
the 2017–2018 survey.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

102

We also calculated the distribution across time intervals—i.e., what percentage of
individuals in restrictive housing were held for each time interval—for the populations in these 31
jurisdictions, as Table 23 reflects. The percentage of prisoners in restrictive housing for less than
six months increased in more jurisdictions than it decreased, while the percentage of prisoners in
restrictive housing for more than six months decreased in more jurisdictions than it increased.
The percentage of individuals in restrictive housing who were being held from 15 days to
one month decreased in 12 jurisdictions, and increased in 19 jurisdictions. The percentage of
individuals in restrictive housing from one month to three months decreased in nine jurisdictions
and increased in 22 jurisdictions. The percentage of individuals in restrictive housing from three
months to six months decreased in 12 jurisdictions, stayed the same in three jurisdictions, and
increased in 16 jurisdictions.
The percentage of individuals in restrictive housing from six months to one year decreased
in 20 jurisdictions, stayed the same in two jurisdictions, and increased in nine jurisdictions. The
percentage of individuals in restrictive housing from one year to three years decreased in 20
jurisdictions, stayed the same in five jurisdictions, and increased in six jurisdictions. The
percentage of individuals in restrictive housing from three years to six years decreased in 16
jurisdictions, stayed the same in nine jurisdictions, and increased in six jurisdictions. The
percentage of individuals in restrictive housing over six years decreased in 14 jurisdictions, stayed
the same in 14 jurisdictions, and increased in three jurisdictions.
Table 23

Comparing the Distributions of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by
Length of Time in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018*
15 Days up
to One
Month

Alaska
Arizona
Colorado
Delaware
FBOP
Hawaii
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
New Jersey

35%
6%
29%
7%
19%
91%
13%
39%
21%
29%
15%
1%
2%
43%
8%
4%

28%
16%
100%
12%
22%
72%
8%
34%
38%
78%
12%
24%
75%
7%
6%
15%

One up to
Three
Months

21%
19%
30%
26%
43%
9%
14%
32%
25%
46%
25%
1%
11%
0%
20%
18%

30%
31%
0%
58%
46%
0%
20%
59%
45%
15%
23%
38%
13%
30%
28%
39%

Three up to
Six Months

14%
21%
29%
22%
16%
0%
24%
12%
15%
11%
15%
5%
16%
50%
26%
22%

20%
16%
0%
14%
17%
28%
16%
6%
13%
5%
17%
16%
8%
27%
31%
18%

Six up to
Twelve
Months

17%
32%
11%
20%
10%
0%
31%
10%
18%
8%
14%
30%
22%
1%
15%
26%

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

10%
17%
0%
16%
8%
0%
20%
2%
3%
2%
16%
9%
2%
21%
24%
10%

One up to
Three up
Three Years to Six Years

12%
19%
0%
18%
8%
0%
11%
6%
16%
6%
21%
32%
37%
3%
18%
13%

12%
18%
0%
0%
3%
0%
22%
0%
0%
0%
19%
10%
1%
10%
10%
8%

1%
1%
0%
3%
2%
0%
5%
0%
4%
1%
10%
11%
9%
0%
8%
9%

0%
3%
0%
0%
2%
0%
7%
0%
0%
0%
13%
2%
0%
5%
0%
4%

(n=31)
Six Years
Plus

0%
3%
0%
5%
2%
0%
3%
0%
2%
0%
0%
20%
3%
2%
5%
8%

0%
0%
0%
0%
2%
0%
7%
0%
0%
0%
0%
1%
0%
0%
1%
7%

103

New York
39% 28% 35% 46% 16% 16% 6% 7% 2% 3% 1% 0% 0% 0%
North Carolina 30% 54% 38% 18% 30% 25% 1% 2% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
North Dakota 15% 33% 24% 44% 22% 22% 31% 0% 7% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Ohio
10% 18% 32% 19% 16% 20% 22% 22% 14% 15% 4% 4% 2% 2%
Oklahoma
11% 28% 17% 35% 13% 16% 17% 11% 32% 8% 5% 1% 5% 0%
Oregon
14% 19% 24% 45% 44% 23% 13% 6% 4% 5% 1% 1% 0% 0%
Pennsylvania 20% 20% 31% 35% 17% 17% 9% 8% 9% 7% 3% 3% 11% 10%
South Carolina 22% 19% 35% 28% 12% 14% 11% 18% 14% 14% 6% 2% 0% 6%
South Dakota 17% 20% 15% 7% 9% 11% 14% 18% 25% 23% 11% 13% 8% 8%
Tennessee
5% 9% 13% 23% 13% 20% 20% 24% 28% 21% 9% 3% 12% 0%
Texas
2% 3% 3% 6% 5% 8% 9% 11% 32% 22% 22% 19% 27% 31%
Utah
26% 1% 19% 11% 19% 78% 14% 10% 18% 0% 4% 0% 1% 0%
Washington
6% 1% 20% 21% 25% 28% 26% 27% 14% 17% 6% 3% 4% 3%
Wisconsin
37% 31% 38% 48% 12% 13% 8% 6% 5% 2% 1% 0% 0% 0%
Wyoming
6% 26% 23% 38% 18% 31% 45% 2% 7% 1% 0% 1% 1% 0%
* Shaded cells contain values from the 2015–2016 survey. Unshaded cells contain values from
the 2017–2018 survey.

To conclude, Figure 17 provides a summary of the comparison of the lengths of time that
individuals spent in restrictive housing. This graph is one way to capture that the many efforts to
limit the use and duration of restrictive housing are having effects on people’s lives.
Figure 17

Comparing the Distributions of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by
Length of Time in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018*
(n=31)

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

104

1

See, e.g., Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz & Aaron Littman, Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty State Survey, 32 YALE
LAW
&
POLICY
REVIEW:
149
(2013),
available
at
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/
viewcontent.cgi?article=1654&context=ylpr; Giovanna Shay, Visiting Room: A Response to Prison Visitation
Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, 32 YALE LAW & POLICY REVIEW 191 (2013), available at
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol32/iss1/6/; Ashbel T. Wall II, Why Do They Do It That Way?: A Response
to Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, 32 YALE LAW & POLICY REVIEW 199 (2013), available at
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol32/iss1/7/; David Fathi, An Endangered Necessity: A Response to Prison
Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, 32 YALE LAW & POLICY REVIEW 205 (2013), available at
http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol32/iss1/8/; Philip M. Genty, Taking Stock and Moving Forward to
Improve Prison Visitation Practices: A Response to Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, 32 YALE LAW &
POLICY REVIEW 211 (2013), available at http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/ylpr/vol32/iss1/9/.
2

See, e.g, The Ninth Circuit Corrections Summit, Sacramento, California, November 4–6, 2015; The Ninth Circuit
Corrections Summit, Santa Ana, California, April 25–27, 2018, Santa Ana, California; Racial Disparities in Prisons:
A Seminar (Yale Law School, 2017).
3

HOPE METCALF, JAMELIA MORGAN, SAMUEL OLIKER-FRIEDLAND, JUDITH RESNIK, JULIA SPIEGEL, HARAN TAE,
ALYSSA WORK, & BRIAN HOLBROOK, ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION, DEGREES OF ISOLATION, AND
INCARCERATION: A NATIONAL OVERVIEW OF STATE AND FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL POLICIES (June 2013), available
at https://law.yale.edu/system/files/area/center/liman/document/Liman_overview_segregation_June_25_2013_TO_
POST_FINAL(1).pdf [hereinafter ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION NATIONAL OVERVIEW 2013].
4

Id. at 5–11.

5

Id. at 14–17.

6

ASSOCIATION OF STATE CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATORS & ARTHUR LIMAN PUBLIC INTEREST PROGRAM AT YALE
LAW SCHOOL, TIME-IN-CELL: THE ASCA-LIMAN 2014 NATIONAL SURVEY OF ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION IN
PRISON (Aug. 2015), available at https://law.yale.edu/system/files/documents/pdf/asca-liman_administrative_
segregation_report_sep_2_2015.pdf [hereinafter ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION 2014].
7

Id. at 3.

8

Id.

9

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS CONCERNING THE USE OF RESTRICTIVE HOUSING
(Jan. 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/archives/dag/report-and-recommendations-concerning-userestrictive-housing.
10

Jess Bravin, Large Number of Inmates in Solitary Poses Problem for Justice System, Study Says, THE WALL STREET
JOURNAL, Sept. 2, 2015, available at https://www.wsj.com/articles/large-number-of-inmates-in-solitary-posesproblem-for-justice-system-study-says-1441209772.
11

Timothy Williams, Prison Officials Join Movement to Curb Solitary Confinement, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Sept. 2,
2015, available at https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/03/us/prison-directors-group-calls-for-limiting-solitaryconfinement.html.
12

Kevin Johnson, More than a Decade after Release, They All Come Back, USA TODAY, Nov. 4, 2015, available at
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/11/04/solitary-confinement-prisoners-impact/73830286/.

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13

ASSOCIATION OF STATE CORRECTIONAL ADMINISTRATORS & ARTHUR LIMAN PUBLIC INTEREST PROGRAM AT YALE
LAW SCHOOL, AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-IN-CELL: REPORTS FROM CORRECTIONAL SYSTEMS ON THE NUMBERS OF
PRISONERS IN RESTRICTED HOUSING AND ON THE POTENTIAL OF POLICY CHANGES TO BRING ABOUT REFORMS (Nov.
2016), available at https://law.yale.edu/system/files/area/center/liman/document/aimingtoreducetic.pdf [hereinafter
ASCA-LIMAN AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-IN-CELL 2016].
14

Id. at 20.

15

Id. at 28.

16

Id. at 27–28.

17

Id. at 55–60. In the 2016 report, 45 jurisdictions provided information about policies related to restrictive housing.

See, e.g., Anna Flag, Alex Tatusian, & Christie Thompson, Who’s in Solitary Confinement, THE MARSHALL
PROJECT, Nov. 2016, available at https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/11/30/a-new-report-gives-the-mostdetailed-breakdown-yet-of-how-isolation-is-used-in-u-s-prisons; Daniel Teehan, What Chris Christie Got Wrong
About
Solitary
Confinement,
THE
MARSHALL
PROJECT,
Dec.
2016,
available
at
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/12/14/what-chris-christie-got-wrong-about-solitary-confinement; Juleyka
Lantigua-Williams, More Prisons Are Phasing Out the ‘Box,’ THE ATLANTIC, Dec. 2016, available at
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/more-prisons-are-phasing-out-the-box/509225/;
Juleyka
Lantigua-Williams, The Link Between Race and Solitary Confinement, THE ATLANTIC, Dec. 2016, available at
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/race-solitary-confinement/509456/; Cassandra Basler, Yale
Report Tries to Count People Held in Solitary Confinement, WSHU, Dec. 2016, available at http://wshu.org/post/yalereport-tries-count-people-held-solitary-confinement#stream/0.
18

19

ASCA-LIMAN AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-IN-CELL 2016, supra note 13, at 16.

The 2017–2018 survey asked about “separating prisoners from the general population and holding them in their
cells for an average of 22 or more hours per day for 15 or more continuous days.” Under this definition, for example,
a person in cell for 24 hours per day for four days, 21 hours per day for three days, 23 hours a day for five days, and
21-and-a-half hours a day for 8 days would be included as held in restrictive housing. The 2016 survey did not include
“average” in its definition, and thus a jurisdiction may or may not have included such persons in their count of
restrictive housing.
20

21

AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION RESTRICTIVE HOUSING PERFORMANCE BASED STANDARDS AUGUST 2016,
available at https://www.asca.net/pdfdocs/8.pdf [hereinafter ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS].
22

The jails were the District of Columbia, Los Angeles County, New York City, and Philadelphia.

23

Most jurisdictions provided initial data as of September 2017. Other jurisdictions responded using different initial
dates. Minnesota Department of Corrections provided data as of July 2017. Colorado Department of Corrections,
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and Texas Department of Corrections provided data as of August 2017.
Georgia Department of Corrections, Indiana Department of Corrections, Mississippi Department of Corrections, New
Hampshire Department of Corrections, New York Department of Corrections, North Carolina Department of
Corrections, Rhode Island Department of Corrections, and Utah Department of Corrections provided data as of
October 2017. New Mexico Department of Corrections provided data as of November 2017. Idaho Department of
Corrections, Illinois Department of Corrections, and Michigan Department of Corrections provided data as of
December 2017. Alaska Department of Corrections provided data as of February 2018. Los Angeles County Jail
provided data as of March 2018.

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24

The jurisdictions that did not provide any responses were California, Florida, Maine, Vermont, Virginia, and the
District of Columbia.
25

The responding jails were Los Angeles County and Philadelphia.

26

The data we gathered focused on the fall of 2017. National data on the baseline prison population comes from 2016
and became available in 2018, with revisions in April 2018. See E. Ann Carson, Prisoners in 2016, BUREAU OF JUSTICE
STATISTICS 4, Tbl.2 (Jan. 2018), https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p16.pdf [hereinafter BJS Prisoners in 2016].
27

Other organizations have done site visits or worked with jurisdictions to evaluate their policies. See e.g., LEON
DIGARD, ELENA VANKO & SARA SULLIVAN, RETHINKING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING: LESSONS FROM FIVE U.S. JAILS AND
PRISON SYSTEMS, VERA INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE (May 2018), available at https://www.vera.org/rethinking-restrictivehousing [hereinafter VERA RETHINKING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING 2018]. See also Vera Institute of Justice, Reducing
Segregation, https://www.vera.org/projects/reducing-segregation.
28

Zhen Zeng, Jail Inmates in 2016, BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS
https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ji16.pdf [hereinafter BJS Jail Inmates in 2016].

1

(Feb.

2018),

29

The full survey is set forth in Appendix A. A few jurisdictions, noted in Table 1, responded that their information
was based on a definition different from that of the survey.
30

Of the 46 jurisdictions that responded, three states (Minnesota, New Hampshire, and West Virginia) did not provide
data on the number of prisoners in restrictive housing.
31

This total custodial population comes from requests for information about prisoners held under the direct control of
the jurisdictions. The survey defined direct control as “your jurisdiction hires and supervises staff (even if some are
through subcontracts, such as health care services) and provides the governing rules and policies.”
A few jurisdictions raised questions about the definition of direct control. Three jurisdictions commented
either about the definition or that their answers included individuals held by the jurisdiction but in facilities whose
personnel were not hired by the jurisdiction. For example, Ohio noted that it did “not differentiate” its “custodial
population” based on whether or not it hired the staff, as the prisoners were “under our direct control whether or not
they are in a private prison, or whether or not the staff are state employees.” Rather, Ohio was “responsible for” all
prisoners incarcerated in Ohio, and it reported data on all of them, whether in private facilities or not. Similarly, Idaho
replied that its restrictive housing numbers included prisoners at “private prisons and contract facilities,” which was
to say its “whole population,” not only those under its “direct control.”
Almost all jurisdictions reported that some prisoners are housed not under their control—in local jails or out
of state under the Interstate Compact Agreement—but states that have a substantial number (more than 10%) not
housed under their direct control are listed in the endnotes to Table 1. The 43 responding jurisdictions reported a total
of 111,094 (10%) of prisoners sentenced by their jurisdictions but not under the direct control of each state’s
correctional system.
32

BJS Prisoners in 2016, supra note 26, at 4, Tbl.2.

33

We calculate this estimate by dividing the number of people in restrictive housing based on the survey responses
(49,197) by the percentage of the U.S. prison population that the responding jurisdictions represented according to the
BJS data (80.6%). However, as noted above, this may be an undercount because some jurisdictions provided restrictive
housing data for fewer people than their entire custodial population. That is, the population over which the systems
had direct control and for which they had restrictive housing data, which is the total custodial population we used,
may not have represented the entire custodial population. To mitigate this issue, another estimation method could be
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used. The second method would apply the overall percentage of people in restrictive housing (4.5%) to the number of
people in prisons, according to BJS statistics, in the jurisdictions that did not respond to the survey, and then add that
figure to the number of individuals in restrictive housing in the responding jurisdictions. This method results in a total
of almost 62,400 people in restrictive housing across the country. The different methods of estimation result in
numbers that are relatively similar.
34

The jurisdiction at the lowest part of that range was Colorado, and the jurisdiction at the highest was Louisiana.
Louisiana reported taking “numerous steps over the last year to address the use of restrictive housing.” Louisiana
reported that these “efforts have led to a decrease in the number of restrictive housing beds by 1,168.”
Louisiana joined with the Vera Institute of Justice in the Safe Alternatives to Segregation initiative. Louisiana
reported that doing so entailed evaluating what was driving placements and the amounts of time spent in isolation.
The state then wrote new restrictive housing regulations, which were “being piloted at a couple of institutions with
positive results.” Louisiana described the most significant changes as “using terminology consistent with the
Department of Justice,” and using “a disciplinary matrix that specifies definitive sanctions” including the time that
will be spent in segregation and the violations that will lead to isolation. Louisiana stated that these reforms “will lead
to” fewer prisoners “being placed in RH and for shorter durations.”
Louisiana also described implementing “a pilot at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center totally eliminating the use
of restrictive housing.” Louisiana explained that the facility was “allowing all offenders greater than two hours out of
cell time per day. The time spent out of cell is a combination of recreational, educational, and treatment driven.” In
addition Louisiana reported that on February 11, 2018, it closed “Camp J,” which “previously served as a disciplinary
camp located at Louisiana State Penitentiary.” This closure eliminated “416 RH beds. The facility that once housed
the inmates with the most significant disciplinary history is being evaluated to be re-purposed into an assisted living /
medical housing area.” Louisiana also stated that it had put into place “a pilot at Louisiana State Penitentiary allowing
inmates on Death Row to be out of cell for greater than 2 hours per day (70 beds).” This program “allows all offenders
the opportunity to be out of their cells for at least 4 hours per day. They are allowed congregate for recreational
activities and are afforded treatment programs such as Thinking for a Change.”
35

For some jurisdictions unable to clarify which definition they used, when constructing Figure 1, Figure 2, and Table
1, we used their responses to the question about length of time in restrictive housing, which provided again the 15–29
day definition. These jurisdictions were Arizona, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, and Utah. Maryland’s figure
came from an aggregate number provided in response to the question about length of time in restrictive housing.
Maryland was unable to provide numbers by periods of time, so we used only the aggregate number. The jurisdictions
that are marked with an asterisk did not provide responses to the question about length of time in restrictive housing.
The column “Total Custodial Population” presents jurisdictions’ answers to the question about the total custodial
population under the jurisdiction’s direct control. In addition, below we note variations coming from responses from
specific jurisdictions.
36

Alabama reported that it housed an additional 5,258 prisoners in local jails and “Community Corrections”
facilities over which it did not have direct control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial
population or the population in restrictive housing.
Alaska’s data were as of February 2018 rather than the fall of 2017.
Arizona reported that it housed an additional 8,740 prisoners in facilities over which it did not have direct
control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing.

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Arkansas reported that it housed an additional 2,245 prisoners in facilities over which it did not have direct
control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing.
Delaware’s reported total custodial population of 4,333 came from its answer to the questions about the
number of people in its total custodial population by age and by race. In answer to the general question about its total
custodial population, Delaware counted 5,556 people, which included non-sentenced individuals. Because Delaware
did not report restrictive housing data for non-sentenced individuals, we used the 4,333 number, which excluded that
population. Because Delaware is a unified system with direct control over its jail system, the total custodial population
included jail data for sentenced individuals.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that it housed an additional 18,941 prisoners in private facilities
over which it did not have direct control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population
or the population in restrictive housing.
Georgia’s figure was taken from a question regarding the gender and age of the total custodial population.
Georgia reported that it housed an additional 7,862 prisoners in private facilities and 4,550 in local jails over which
it did not have direct control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the
population in restrictive housing.
As of the fall of 2017, Hawaii reported placing 1,617 inmates at Saguaro Detention Center, a private prison
in Arizona, over which it did not have direct control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial
population or the population in restrictive housing. Further, Hawaii noted that it collected data on restrictive housing
totals for only part of its restrictive housing population: “We collect data for Admin Segregation and not disciplinary
segregation or protective custody housing.” Hawaii is a unified system with direct control over its jail system; the
totals therefore included jail data.
Idaho’s figure was taken from an answer to a question regarding the gender and age of the total custodial
population.
Kentucky reported that it housed an additional 11,556 prisoners in county jails over which it did not have
direct control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing.
Louisiana reported housing an additional 20,122 prisoners in county jails over which it did not have direct
control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing. Louisiana noted that it was unable to provide restrictive housing data for female inmates due to a “2016 flood
that impacted our women’s facility,” resulting in the women being “displaced to multiple locations.”
Montana reported housing an additional 922 prisoners in facilities over which it did not have direct control;
these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive housing.
Nebraska’s figure was taken from a question regarding the gender and age of the total custodial population.
New Jersey reported housing an additional 2,660 prisoners in facilities over which it did not have direct
control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing.
Ohio’s total custodial population figure was from Sept. 21, 2017, and its restrictive housing data was from
Sept. 14, 2017.
Rhode Island is a unified system with direct control over its jail system; the totals therefore included jail data.
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Tennessee reported housing an additional 8,277 prisoners in county jails over which it did not have direct
control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing. Tennessee’s count of its total custodial population and its restrictive housing population included people in
private prisons.
Utah reported housing an additional 1,346 “county jail inmates,” four prisoners at Utah State Hospital, an
additional five prisoners in “Hospital,” and one prisoner in “Youth Corrections,” as individuals in facilities over which
it did not have direct control. These prisoners are not included in the data on total custodial population or the population
in restrictive housing.
Washington noted it defined “short term” as 47 days or less. This definition did not affect the reports on the
total restrictive housing population. Washington also reported that “up to 75 female offenders may be housed in county
jail” over which it does not have direct control. These prisoners were not included in the data on the total custodial
population or the data on restrictive housing.
Wyoming reported that it housed an additional 244 prisoners in facilities over which it did not have direct
control; these prisoners were not included in the data on total custodial population or the population in restrictive
housing.
The column “Population in Restrictive Housing” presents jurisdictions’ answers to a question about the total number
of people in short-term and extended (more than 29 days) restrictive housing, with the exceptions noted at Figure 1.
Additional notes for specific states follow.
37

Alaska’s data were as of February 2018 rather than fall 2017. Alaska noted that “reported data was compiled
from 12 facilities with somewhat different recording systems in place. While we do have a common electronic
database, not all of the requested information was inputted or available. Unfortunately, some facilities were not able
to provide numbers in all areas,” which resulted in different sums for different questions. The number of prisoners
reported to be in RH varied from 256 for the length-of stay question to 287 for the short-term and long-term restrictive
housing question to 378 for the gender and age question.
Delaware is a unified system with direct control over its jail system; the totals here therefore include jail data.
Iowa noted that “restrictive housing for us means that an offender is held in their cell for at least 23 hours.”
This is higher than the standard definition of 22 or more hours. Kentucky similarly reported that all prisoners in
restrictive housing were “housed in for 23 hours per day.”
Montana’s figure was taken from the question on length of stay.
Nevada’s figure was taken from a question regarding the gender and age of the restrictive housing population.
New Mexico’s figure was taken from a comment related to the question on length of time in restrictive
housing. New Mexico noted that “we don’t define short-term and long-term. The longest you can be in disciplinary
RHU is 30 days. We have a long-term RHU program that is a step down program. That is a one year program but time
can be enhanced for assaulting staff or returning to the program as a habitual. We do have inmates in RHU for periods
of time less than 30 days.”
38

Of the 46 responding jurisdictions, Indiana did not respond to this question.

39

Six jurisdictions did not provide data on length of time in restrictive housing for this report despite stating that they
regularly collect it. These jurisdictions were Arkansas, Connecticut, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and West
Virginia.

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40

The jurisdictions that reported not regularly collecting data on length of time in restrictive housing were Arizona,
Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Arizona explained, “Data regarding length of
stay in restrictive housing is managed through our Adult Information Management System (AIMS). Data is utilized
as needed to develop reports on an individual basis.”
41

The five jurisdictions that reported not regularly collecting data on length of time in restrictive housing but that
provided data on length of time for this report were Arizona, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
42

For example, a prisoner held for three years could be counted as having been in restrictive housing for only one year
if the jurisdiction has kept data for one year and did not include information on years before data collection began. Of
the 30 jurisdictions responding, 18 reported starting to collect data in 2014 or later, including four jurisdictions in
2017 and four in 2016.
43

Some jurisdictions responding to the question about length of time in restrictive housing filled in a number for
certain time periods and left other time periods blank. Some jurisdictions filled in zeros rather than leaving blanks.
For this table, we filled in zeros for all time periods left blank as long as the jurisdiction had filled in numbers for
some time periods.
When counting the numbers of prisoners in restrictive housing for various lengths of time, the following
caveats apply. Alaska reported 378 people in restrictive housing and 256 people in restrictive housing by length of
time. When responding to the question about length of stay, Alaska noted, “The numbers are the best estimate as the
tracking is informal and not broken down in these quantities. Each facility maintains a separate roster for holding
hearings. The required review and hearing for prisoners is: initial review is 24 hours from placement in segregation.
The prisoner can be released at that time, the second review is 36 hours, and then every 30 days. Generally though a
prisoner can be reviewed and released at any time the unit management team determines the prisoner can be released
from segregation.” Hawaii reported 13 people in restrictive housing and 32 people in restrictive housing by length of
time. Further, Hawaii noted that it collected data on restrictive housing totals for only part of its restrictive housing
population: “We collect data for Admin Segregation and not disciplinary segregation or protective custody housing.”
Illinois reported 921 people in restrictive housing and 1,098 people in restrictive housing by length of time. Kentucky
reported 408 people in restrictive housing and 861 people in restrictive housing by length of time. Louisiana reported
2,709 people in restrictive housing and 2,719 people in restrictive housing by length of time. Massachusetts reported
443 people in restrictive housing and 312 people in restrictive housing by length of time. Missouri reported 2,990
people in restrictive housing and 2,510 people in restrictive housing by length of time. Nebraska reported 328 people
in restrictive housing and 332 people in restrictive housing by length of time. North Dakota reported eight people in
restrictive housing and nine people in restrictive housing by length of time. Oregon reported 938 people in restrictive
housing and 638 people in restrictive housing by length of time.
Michigan noted that its length of stay data “reflects the number of days a prisoner spent in his/her current
cell and does not account for the number of days in restrictive housing prior to placement in their current cell.”
Washington reported, “Short term duration for us is 47 days. The numbers provided for the survey in regards
to short term were 47 days or less.”
44

The numbers for Illinois were calculated by subtracting the numbers of people in protective custody by length of
time from the total numbers of people reported to be in restrictive housing by length of time. Illinois reported that
prisoners identified as being in protective custody “are job assignments such as barber, clerk, maintenance, etc., and
are not in RH.” The number of prisoners reported to be in protective custody was 601.
45

The high end of the range was Louisiana. The low end of the range was Colorado.

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46

When counting the number of men in the total custodial population, the following caveats apply. Kansas reported
9,886 prisoners in the total custodial population and 9,896 prisoners by gender. Kentucky reported 12,000 prisoners
in the total custodial population and 23,566 prisoners by gender. This discrepancy is accounted for by Kentucky’s
inclusion of its 11,566 person jail population in the calculations by gender. Louisiana reported 14,291 prisoners in the
total custodial population and 34,987 prisoners by gender. This discrepancy is partially accounted for by Louisiana’s
inclusion of its 20,122 person jail population in the calculations by gender. Nevada reported 13,718 prisoners in the
total custodial population and 13,714 prisoners by gender.
Connecticut reported 328 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 406 prisoners in the restrictive
housing population by gender. Connecticut’s reported overall number of people in restrictive housing came from data
as of September 2017 while the reported number of people in restrictive housing by gender came from data as of April
2018. Illinois reported 921 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,560 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by gender. This discrepancy may be a result of counting people in isolation from one to 14 days. Indiana
reported 1,741 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,971 prisoners in the restrictive housing population
by gender. This discrepancy may be a result of counting people in isolation from one to 14 days. Kentucky reported
408 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,015 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by gender.
Maryland reported 1,417 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,567 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by gender. Nebraska reported 328 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 397 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population by gender. New Jersey reported 1,011 prisoners in the restrictive housing population
and 1,173 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by gender. New Mexico reported 550 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population and 294 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by gender. North Dakota
reported eight prisoners in the restrictive housing population and nine prisoners in the restrictive housing population
by gender. Oregon reported 938 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,031 prisoners in the restrictive
housing population by gender. The 938 number came from a population snapshot as of September 2017. The 1,031
number came from a population snapshot in December 2017 after a follow-up. Tennessee reported 1,181 prisoners in
the restrictive housing population and 555 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by gender. The 1,181 number
came from data as of October 2017. The 555 number came from data as of January 2018. Tennessee did not provide
data for the restrictive housing population by gender for the 1,181 number. Texas reported 4,272 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population and 4,269 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by gender. Utah reported 296
prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 282 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by gender.
Washington reported 387 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 409 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by gender. Wyoming reported 81 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 85 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population by gender.
Oregon explained that restrictive housing data based on length of stay and by type of restrictive housing was
to be provided quarterly from a reporting tool that it was building with the help of the Vera Institute, while other data
were a one-day snapshot.
In response to a later inquiry, Missouri wrote: “Missouri doesn’t define segregation the same as the survey
defines restrictive housing. When the initial survey was submitted, each facility had to review their offenders assigned
to segregation to determine if they met the definition of restrictive housing for the survey. This was a cumbersome
task. There is no way to go back now and provide the demographics of the offenders identified in the original survey.”
47

The high end of the range (4.6% of the female custodial population, or 59 out of 1,280 female prisoners) was in
Nevada; Colorado, Delaware, North Dakota, and Rhode Island housed no women in restrictive housing.
48

When counting the number of women in the total custodial population, the same caveats as listed in note 47, supra,
about data on men apply. In addition, as mentioned earlier, Louisiana noted in a follow-up email that it was unable to
provide restrictive housing data for female prisoners.

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49

Most jurisdictions were able to report data in each of these categories, but some jurisdictions used different race and
ethnicity categories that did not match the categories that we provided. For example, Connecticut and Illinois did not
use the racial category Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and Kentucky uses the category Asian/Pacific Islander,
instead of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Asian as separate categories. Where these varying definitions created
challenges in understanding the data reported, we followed up with the jurisdictions and have reported definitional
differences in the relevant sections of the report.
We reported based on correctional systems’ methods for categorizing prisoners into racial and ethnic groups.
Twenty-four correctional systems identified race and ethnicity based on prisoners’ self-identification. Seventeen
jurisdictions identified race and ethnicity based on a combination of self-report, court documentation, and police
documentation. Alabama explained that “race is certified to us on a sentencing transcript, which comes from the circuit
clerk’s office of the sentencing county.” Arizona stated that identification was “based on self-reporting and/or court
documents.” Arkansas reported using “the Inmate’s Judgment & Commitment Order.” Delaware reported that race
and ethnicity was “imported/received as part of individual’s electronic file received from Court” and that it could “be
manually updated.” The Federal Bureau of Prisons stated, “this information comes to the BOP from the Pre-Sentence
Investigation report,” and that it “is believed to be self-report in most instances.” Kansas reported that race and
ethnicity is “self selected,” and that while “Hispanic ethnicity is recorded in addition to self selected race, for purposes
of this survey those identifying as Hispanic ethnicity have been separated from their self selected race.” Los Angeles
responded it relied on “self identification and law enforcement records.” Louisiana related using “LA State Police
criminal records and birth certificate.” Minnesota reported using “self reports and/or from court/arrest documents.”
Mississippi reported it relied on “court documents and/or NCIC [National Crime Information Center].” Missouri stated
it utilized “the race captured in their criminal history.” Montana responded that it followed “the NCIC standards for
race reporting.” Nevada stated that the information was “mostly, self reported or available from the pre-sentence
investigation report.” New Jersey said it used “an inmate’s pre-sentencing information which provides nationality and
race information in conjunction with self reporting during the classification process upon an inmate's transfer to the
department.” Oregon stated it relied on information from “LEDS [Law Enforcement Data System] or self report.”
Tennessee reported, “as offenders enter the diagnostic centers, we use the Judgment Orders from the courts, NCIC
data, government issued identification, and self reporting.” Utah stated, “staff are obtaining the information from our
Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI).”
50

Three jurisdictions reported specific policies on Hispanic ethnicity. Colorado stated, “ethnicity information
is forwarded from Colorado Judicial and sent to us electronically along with mittimus information,” and that “DOC
determines which prisoners are included in the Hispanic demographic during the Intake process.” New York related:
An inmate’s self-reported race and ethnicity are both examined to determine into which racial/ethnic category
he or she should be placed. An inmate is first categorized as white, black, other (this category includes Asian,
Native American, and Other) or unknown based on self-reported race. Then, the inmate’s ethnicity is
determined; if the inmate's self-reported ethnicity is Hispanic, he or she is included in the “Hispanic” category.
Next, the inmate's place of birth is examined; if he or she is born in a Spanish-speaking country or Puerto
Rico, he or she is included in the “Hispanic” category, regardless of the inmate’s self-reported ethnicity.
Finally, the inmate’s mother's place of birth and father's place of birth are examined; if either parent was born
in a Spanish-speaking country or Puerto Rico, he or she is included in the “Hispanic” category, regardless of
the inmate’s self-reported ethnicity. So, an inmate’s Hispanic ethnicity (as determined by inmate self-report,
place of birth, or parental place of birth) is the overriding factor in determining race/ethnicity on the
ETHNIC2 variable. The one exception to this is if the inmate’s self-reported race is Asian; if so, he or she is
included in the “Other” category, and not in the “Hispanic” category.
Washington responded that it used “offender self report,” and that “race is self-identified separately from
Hispanic origin. Ethnicity is self-identified separately from Race or Hispanic origin and relates to subpopulations such
as specific Asian country of familial origin or Tribal affiliation.”
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Iowa did not clarify how identifications were made, stating, “by race or ethnicity.” Texas made identifications
based on physical appearance: “Race is determined by physical appearance, not ethnicity or offender preference.”
New Hampshire and West Virginia and did not provide answers.
Alabama reported that “Other” included people “other than Black, White, and Indian. Hispanics are grouped as
Caucasian, and Asians are Grouped in ‘Other.’”
51

52

Iowa reported that “Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander” prisoners were counted under “Asian.”

53

When counting the number of men in the total custodial population, the following caveats apply. Kansas reported
9,886 prisoners in the total custodial population and 9,896 prisoners by race. Kentucky reported 12,000 prisoners in
the total custodial population and 23,604 prisoners by race. This discrepancy is partially accounted for by Kentucky’s
inclusion of its 11,566 person jail population in the calculations by race. Louisiana reported 14,291 prisoners in the
total custodial population and 34,987 prisoners by race. This discrepancy is partially accounted for by Louisiana’s
inclusion of its 20,122 person jail population in the calculations by race. Nevada reported 13,718 prisoners in the total
custodial population and 13,714 prisoners by race. New Mexico reported 7,047 prisoners in the total custodial
population and 7,037 prisoners by race. Washington reported 17,046 prisoners in the total custodial population and
17,076 prisoners by race. Wisconsin reported 22,589 prisoners in the total custodial population and 22,579 prisoners
by race.
In addition, Alabama reported 21,592 prisoners in the total custodial population and the same number by
race. However, Alabama reported 20,282 men in the total custodial population, and 20,268 men by race. Alabama
reported 1,310 women in the total custodial population, and 1,324 women by race.
Connecticut reported 328 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 74 prisoners in the restrictive
housing population by race. Illinois reported 921 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,560 prisoners
in the restrictive housing population by race. This discrepancy may be a result of counting people in isolation from
one to 14 days. Indiana reported 1,741 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,971 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population by race. This discrepancy may be a result of counting people in isolation from one to
14 days. Kentucky reported 408 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,015 prisoners in the restrictive
housing population by race. Maryland reported 1,417 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,544
prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race. Nebraska reported 328 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population and 397 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race. New Jersey reported 1,011 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population and 1,173 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race. New Mexico reported
550 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 294 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race.
North Dakota reported eight prisoners in the restrictive housing population and nine prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by race. Oregon reported 938 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,031 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population by race. The 938 number came from a population snapshot as of September 2017. The
1,031 number came from a population snapshot in December 2017 after a follow-up. Tennessee reported 1,181
prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 555 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race. The
1,181 number came from data as of October 2017. The 555 number came from data as of January 2018. Tennessee
did not provide data for the restrictive housing population by race for the 1,181 number. Texas reported 4,272 prisoners
in the restrictive housing population and 4,269 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race. Utah reported
296 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 282 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by race.
Washington reported 387 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 409 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by race.
As mentioned earlier, Oregon explained that restricted housing data based on length of stay and by type of
restrictive housing was to be provided quarterly from a reporting tool that it was building with the help of the Vera
Institute, while other data were a one-day snapshot.
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Throughout this report, Iowa’s definition of Asian includes Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.
As previously mentioned, Alabama reported that “Other” included people “other than Black, White, and Indian.
Hispanics are grouped as Caucasian, and Asians are Grouped in ‘Other’.”
54

55

When counting the number of women in the total custodial population, the same caveats as listed in note 54, supra,
with regards to men apply. In addition, as mentioned, Louisiana noted in a follow-up email that it was unable to
provide restrictive housing data for female prisoners.
56

ACA Standard 4-RH-0034, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARD, supra note 21, at 39.

57

Alaska, Louisiana, Maryland, and North Carolina were the jurisdictions reporting juveniles in restrictive housing.

Some jurisdictions responding to the questions about prisoners’ ages filled in a number for certain age ranges and
left other age ranges blank. Some jurisdictions filled in zeros rather than leaving blanks. For the tables relating to age,
we filled in zeros for all age ranges left blank as long as the jurisdiction had filled in numbers for some age ranges.
58

When counting the number of men in the total custodial population, the following caveats apply. Kansas
reported 9,886 prisoners in the total custodial population and 9,896 prisoners by age. Kentucky reported 12,000
prisoners in the total custodial population and 23,566 prisoners by age. This discrepancy is accounted for by
Kentucky’s inclusion of its 11,566 person jail population in the calculations by age. Louisiana reported 14,291
prisoners in the total custodial population and 34,987 prisoners by age. This discrepancy is partially accounted for by
Louisiana’s inclusion of its 20,122 person jail population in the calculations by age. Nevada reported 13,718 prisoners
in the total custodial population and 13,714 prisoners by age. New York reported 50,764 prisoners in the total custodial
population and 50,767 prisoners by age.
Connecticut reported 328 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 406 prisoners in the restrictive
housing population by age. Connecticut’s reported overall number of people in restrictive housing came from data as
of September 2017 while the reported number of people in restrictive housing by age came from data as of April 2018.
Illinois reported 921 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,560 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by age. This discrepancy may be a result of counting people in isolation from one to 14 days. Indiana
reported 1,741 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,971 prisoners in the restrictive housing population
by age. This discrepancy may be a result of counting people in isolation from one to 14 days. Kentucky reported 408
prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,015 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age.
Maryland reported 1,417 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,557 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population by age. Nebraska reported 328 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 397 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population by age. New Jersey reported 1,011 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and
1,173 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. New Mexico reported 550 prisoners in the restrictive
housing population and 294 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. North Dakota reported eight
prisoners in the restrictive housing population and nine prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. Oregon
reported 938 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 1,031 prisoners in the restrictive housing population
by age. The 938 number came from a population snapshot as of September 2017. The 1,031 number came from a
population snapshot in December 2017 after a follow-up. Tennessee reported 1,181 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population and 555 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. The 1,181 number came from data as of
October 2017. The 555 number came from data as of January 2018. Tennessee did not provide data for the restrictive
housing population by age for the 1,181 number. Texas reported 4,272 prisoners in the restrictive housing population
and 4,269 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. Utah reported 296 prisoners in the restrictive housing
population and 282 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. Washington reported 387 prisoners in the
restrictive housing population and 409 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age. Wyoming reported 81
prisoners in the restrictive housing population and 85 prisoners in the restrictive housing population by age.
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In addition, Wisconsin reported 713 prisoners in the restrictive housing population and the same number by
age. However, Wisconsin reported 661 men in the restrictive housing population and 632 men by age. Wisconsin
reported 52 women in the restrictive housing population and 81 women by age.
As previously mentioned, Oregon explained that restrictive housing data based on length of stay and by type
of restrictive housing was to be provided quarterly from a reporting tool that it was building with the help of the Vera
Institute, while other data were a one-day snapshot.
Washington originally reported 2,844 men ages 50+ and 182 women ages 50+. These were the same numbers
as were reported for men ages 36–50 and women ages 36–50. Washington later explained that the numbers were
inadvertently repeated and that the correct totals excluded the repeated numbers. We included 2,844 under the column
for men ages 36–50 and 182 under the column for women ages 36–50. However, these numbers may include men and
women ages 36–50 and older than 50.
59

When counting the number of women in the total custodial population, the same caveats as listed in note 59, supra,
with regards to men apply. As mentioned earlier, Louisiana noted in a follow-up email that it was unable to provide
restrictive housing data for female prisoners.
60

According to a 2017 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 37% of prisoners were told in the past by a mental
health professional that they had a “mental disorder,” and 14% of state and federal prisoners “reported experiences
that met the threshold for serious psychological distress” within 30 days prior to a survey in 2011 and 2012. Jennifer
Bronson & Marcus Berzofksy, Indicators of Mental Health Problems Reported by Prisoners and Jail Inmates, 2011–
12, NCJ 250612 1 (June 2017), available at https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/imhprpji1112.pdf.
61

ACA Standard 4-RH-0010, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 15.

62

Id.

63

Id.

64

Id.

65

ACA Standard 4-RH-0011, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 16.

66

Id.

67

Id.

68

Id.

69

ACA Standard 4-RH-0029, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 34.

70

Id.

71

ACA Standard 4-RH-0031, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 35; Id. at 3.

72

Id.

Some jurisdictions answered the question, “Please provide data on how many prisoners are classified as seriously
mentally ill in your jurisdiction’s general population.” The question was later clarified to read: “Please provide data
on how many prisoners are classified as seriously mentally ill in your total custodial population.” Total custodial
population means all individuals housed in general population, restrictive housing, or any other units within the
correctional department. General population is sometimes used interchangeably with total custodial population, but
73

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refers to a subset of the total custodial population, usually those who are not in restrictive or other specialized housing
units. Where there was ambiguity in which definition of general population a jurisdiction was using, we followed up
to clarify.
74

The Federal Bureau of Prisons reported that it does not track numbers on prisoners with serious mental illness.
South Carolina explained that it did not have data to provide on seriously mentally ill prisoners because it had recently
implemented a special tracking system:
The South Carolina Department of Correction (SCDC) implemented a special indicator the latter
part of 2017, to easily identify prisoners who are seriously mentally ill. Due to how recently this
indicator was added to our system, there has not been sufficient time to review the entire mental
health caseload to determine which prisoners should be identified as seriously mentally ill. Any
numbers reported would not be an accurate representation/reflection of our Seriously Mentally Ill
population.
75

See Appendix C: Definitions of “Serious Mental Illness” in 43 Jurisdictions.

76

Mississippi Definition of Serious Mental Illness, Appendix C.

77

Nebraska Definition of Serious Mental Illness, Appendix C.

See, e.g., New York Definition of Serious Mental Illness (“New York State DOCCS Definition of Serious Mental
Illness (Section 137 Correction Law) (e) An inmate has a serious mental illness when he or she has been determined
by a mental health clinician to meet at least one of the following criteria: (i) he or she has a current diagnosis of, or is
diagnosed at the initial or any subsequent assessment conducted during the inmate’s segregated confinement with, one
or more of the following types of Axis I diagnoses, as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and such diagnoses shall be made based upon all relevant clinical factors,
including but not limited to symptoms related to such diagnoses: (A) schizophrenia (all sub-types), (B) delusional
disorder, (C) schizophreniform disorder, (D) schizoaffective disorder, (E) brief psychotic disorder, (F) substanceinduced psychotic disorder (excluding intoxication and withdrawal), (G) psychotic disorder not otherwise specified,
(H) major depressive disorders, or (I) bipolar disorder I and II; (ii) he or she is actively suicidal or has engaged in a
recent, serious suicide attempt; (iii) he or she has been diagnosed with a mental condition that is frequently
characterized by breaks with reality, or perceptions of reality, that lead the individual to experience significant
functional impairment involving acts of self-harm or other behavior that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on
mental or physical health; (iv) he or she has been diagnosed with an organic brain syndrome that results in a significant
functional impairment involving acts of self-harm or other behavior that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on
mental or physical health; (v) he or she has been diagnosed with a severe personality disorder that is manifested by
frequent episodes of psychosis or depression, and results in a significant functional impairment involving acts of selfharm or other behavior that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on mental or physical health; or (vi) he or she
has been determined by a mental health clinician to have otherwise substantially deteriorated mentally or emotionally
while confined in segregated confinement and is experiencing significant functional impairment indicating a diagnosis
of serious mental illness and involving acts of self-harm or other behavior that have a serious adverse effect on life or
on mental or physical health.”).
78

79

Tennessee reported 505 prisoners with serious mental illness in its total custodial population. This number is not
included in Tables 15, 16, 17 or 18 because it is not known how many of the 505 prisoners are female and how many
are male.
Texas stated that it did “not define ‘serious mental illness.’” Its numbers in Table 15 and Table 16 reflect prisoners
who were “on an inpatient mental health caseload.”
80

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81

ACA Standard 4-RH-0033, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 38.

82

These jurisdictions were Arkansas, Montana, and North Dakota.

83

The other 38 jurisdictions were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois,
Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
84

ACA Standard 4-RH-0035, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 40. The National
Standards under the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) also call for careful attention to the needs and safety of
transgender individuals, defined as “a person whose gender identity (i.e., internal sense of feeling male or female) is
different from the person’s assigned sex at birth.” NATIONAL STANDARDS TO PREVENT, DETECT, AND RESPOND TO
PRISON RAPE UNDER THE PRISON RAPE ELIMINATION ACT (PREA) 28 C.F.R. § 115.5 (2012); see generally 28 C.F.R.
§§ 115.15, 115.31, 115.41, 115.42, 115.86.
85

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the Federal
Bureau of Prisons, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina,
North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah,
Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
These jurisdictions were Hawaii (responding “N/A”), Indiana (“not tracked”), Rhode Island (“RIDOC does not
maintain these statistics electronically—only on a case by case basis and maintained in the inmates medical record”),
and Utah (“We do not track transgender inmates”).
86

87

That jurisdiction was North Dakota.

88

Four jurisdictions did not provide information beyond the definition they used for transgender: Kansas, Minnesota,
Nebraska, and Utah. Twenty-one jurisdictions reported that prisoners self-report whether they are transgender: Alaska,
Arizona, Colorado, Delaware (may self-identify at intake), the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland,
Missouri, Montana (may self-identify at intake), New York, North Carolina (may self-identify at intake or upon
transfer to another facility), North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas (may self-identify at any
point), Washington (may self-identify at any point), and Wisconsin (may self-identify at any point during
incarceration). An additional nine jurisdictions indicated that transgender prisoners were identified through a
combination of self-reporting and diagnosis: Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New
Jersey, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
89

These jurisdictions were the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Hawaii, Indiana, Rhode Island, and Utah.

90

These 17 jurisdictions were Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, and
Wyoming.
91

Maryland and South Dakota each reported one transgender prisoner in restrictive housing. Alaska, Louisiana,
Nevada, New Jersey, and Oklahoma each reported two transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Arkansas and
Idaho each reported three transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Kentucky and Michigan each reported six
transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. New York reported seven transgender prisoners in restrictive housing.
Ohio reported eight transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Pennsylvania and Washington each reported nine
transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Arizona, Oregon, and Wisconsin each reported ten transgender prisoners

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in restrictive housing. Illinois reported 19 transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Missouri reported 21
transgender prisoners in restrictive housing. Texas reported 24 transgender prisoners in restrictive housing.
92

BJS Jail Inmates in 2016, supra note 28, at Tbls. 1, 4.

93

See Allen J. Beck, Use of Restrictive Housing in U.S. Prisons and Jails, 2011–12, BUREAU OF JUSTICE STATISTICS
(Oct. 2015), http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/urhuspj1112.pdf.
94

BJS Prisoners in 2016, supra note 26, at 4, Tbl.2. Maryland, which reported on the survey that it has control over
jails, was not included in the BJS description. Vermont did not respond to the survey.
95

These populations are included in the total custodial populations of Table 1.

96

We did not receive responses from the District of Columbia and New York City.

97

Philadelphia’s total custodial population numbers included privately contracted facilities.

Philadelphia noted: “Each of the Philadelphia Department of Prisons facilities that have inmates in restrictive
housing has a Deputy Warden for Administration that oversees all RHU inmates. The Deputy Warden reviews each
inmate in segregated housing weekly (for those in segregation under 30 days) or monthly (for those in segregated
housing more than 30 days). The Warden also reviews the case files for those inmates using the same schedule.
Because we are a local (jail) jurisdiction, our length of stay overall is much lower than the state facilities, and, as such,
our length of stay in segregated housing is much lower, also.”
98

Los Angeles’s numbers on people by age in restrictive housing population totaled 511, while its total restrictive
housing population count in response to another question was 619.
99

100

Los Angeles cited United States v. County of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, CV 155903 (C.D. Cal. 2015), Settlement Agreement, available at https://www.justice.gov/crt/file/761256/download.
101

In its initial response, Philadelphia had reported two pregnant individuals in its total custodial population, with both
reported to be housed in short-term restrictive housing.
102

When asked to explain other changes, Los Angeles noted a “major overhaul” of its “classification policies.”

103

ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION 2014, supra note 6, at 54–57.

104

ASCA-LIMAN AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-IN-CELL 2016, supra note 13, at 55–60.

105

The jurisdictions responding to questions on policies were: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Connecticut, Delaware, FBOP, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The Federal Bureau of
Prisons did so by linking to its revised policies.
106

The jurisdictions providing supplemental information were Alabama, Colorado, FBOP, Idaho, Massachusetts, New
York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Utah.
107

ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION NATIONAL OVERVIEW 2013, supra note 3, at 4–5.

108

Thirty-eight jurisdictions responded to this question. The jurisdictions that changed their criteria were: Alabama,
Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri,
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Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South
Dakota, Utah, and Washington.
109

Thirty-two jurisdictions answered this question.

110

The jurisdictions that reported removing some behaviors from the list of infractions prompting placement in
restrictive housing were Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada,
North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington.
111

That jurisdiction was Washington.

112

That jurisdiction was North Carolina.

113

That jurisdiction was Maryland.

114

That jurisdiction was Arkansas.

115

That jurisdiction was Texas.

New Mexico reported that it had, “due to an increase in prison violence, . . . added enhancements to stays in longterm” restrictive housing “if the incident was a repeat violation (habitual offender type charge), was a violent assault
on staff and/or was gang-related.”
116

117

That jurisdiction was North Dakota.

118

The jurisdictions that had created such a policy were Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
Utah, and Washington.
119

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South
Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin.
120

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona , Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, and Wisconsin. Arizona explained that a “screening upon arrival
occurs for inmates arriving into detention status. Prior to placement if feasible.”
Nebraska reported that it had added screening “by medical and mental health within 24 hours of placement” in
restrictive housing, effective July 1, 2016. South Carolina reported that it had added mental health screenings for
prisoners “classified as mentally ill . . . within 72 hours of initial placement” in restrictive housing and “within 30
days” of placement for other prisoners. Illinois and Montana also reported that they had added screenings after
placement in restrictive housing.
121

122

Those jurisdictions were Hawaii, Maryland, Ohio, and Washington.

123

Alaska reported this form of screening.

124

The jurisdictions that had created policies requiring consideration of less-restrictive alternatives were Alabama,
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska,
Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Other
alternatives included, in Massachusetts, placement in a unit “which is not a locked-in unit but has less privileges” or,
in Ohio, “Limited Privilege Housing, which requires congregate activity, out-of-cell dining, access to programming,
and at least 2.5 hours of out-of-cell time daily.” Ohio explained that this had “become the new default placement for
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low to moderate misbehavior.” Arizona described converting restrictive-housing beds to “close custody”—
specifically, “152 beds from restrictive housing,” “192 restrictive-housing sex offender beds,” “192 restrictive housing
PC beds,” “72 CB7 restrictive-housing beds, and “42 Central Unit restrictive-housing beds.”
Michigan had not created such a policy at the time of the survey but reported that there were “plans in process
to implement an alternative to restrictive housing by utilizing ‘Start Units’.”
125

That jurisdiction was Alabama.

126

That jurisdiction was Oregon.

127

That jurisdiction was Alaska.

128

That jurisdiction was New Mexico.

129

The 28 jurisdictions that reported making changes were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware,
Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey,
New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah,
and Washington.
130

Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Ohio reported requiring weekly reviews. Iowa reported that restrictive housing
status was reviewed weekly “by the Long Term Restrictive Housing Committee.” Minnesota reported that prisoners
in restrictive housing were “now reviewed weekly.” North Dakota reported that it administered reviews “once a week
by the chief of security, Director of Treatment and Deputy Warden—Programs. If on restrictive housing for a year,
the resident is reviewed by the DOCR Director. All severely mentally ill cases are staffed with the warden on a weekly
basis. If placement is contraindicated, the resident’s case is reviewed and staffed with the Clinical Director.” Ohio
reported that “every 7 days a member of the unit classification committee reviews the status of the inmate and has the
power to initiate release procedures.”
Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, and New York reported requiring monthly
reviews. Alaska reported that it conducted initial reviews at 24 hours and 72 hours, with subsequent reviews “every
30 days as needed,” and also noted that “our facilities are reviewing prisoners sooner than the 30 day hearing standard.
If the prisoner is believed not to be a threat he/she will be returned to general population.” Arkansas reported that it
conducted initial reviews every seven days for the first 60 days and every 30 days thereafter; at every other 30-day
review, “the inmate will be personally interviewed by the Classification Committee or authorized staff;” and the
warden must approve continued placement in restrictive housing for any inmate confined for more than one year.
Arkansas specified that mental health review occurred within seven days of placement in restrictive housing and at
least every 30 days afterward for prisoners with behavioral health diagnoses, at least every 90 days afterward for
prisoners without diagnoses, and “more frequently if clinically indicated.” Delaware reported every-seven-day reviews
for the first 60 days, and “at least every 30 days thereafter,” with review by the warden for inmates in restrictive
housing for 90 days or more. Hawaii reported initial placement reviews within 24 hours, personal interviews with the
warden or designee within 72 hours, and review every 30 days thereafter. Kentucky reported that the restrictive
housing status of a prisoner was reviewed “at least every 30 days but often more frequently.” Montana reported that
“monthly reviews are now done by the unit management teams.” New York explained that “inmates housed in
restricted housing for other than disciplinary reasons (protection, administrative segregation, etc.) have their status
reviewed by a facility three-member committee (consisting of a representative of the facility executive staff, a security
supervisor, and a member of the guidance and counseling staff) every 7 days for the first 2 months, and then every 30
days thereafter. Prior to 7/18/2017, reviews were conducted every 60 days.”
Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Oregon reported requiring reviews over longer time periods.
Arizona reported reviewing placement “at 180 days of initial placement followed by annual review.” Illinois reported
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that prisoners could “request a review for reduction in their disciplinary segregation terms every 90 days,” and that
the Deputy Director or Director must review placement in restrictive housing “every 180 days after the initial review
if the segregation term is more than one year.” Nebraska reported that “Wardens review and approve the immediate
placement,” and the “central office MDRT reviews all” restrictive housing cases “every 90 days.” New Mexico
reported reviewing restrictive housing status “annually or as needed.” Oregon reported that restrictive housing status
of a prisoner was reviewed “at least every 90 days” for certain types of restrictive housing, and that the policy was
under review.
Jurisdictions were asked whether they had made changes to the “decision-making authority to continue individuals
in restrictive housing” and whether they had implemented “centralized monitoring.” Thirteen of 26 jurisdictions
reported that they had implemented “centralized monitoring” (Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, and South Carolina), and 16 of 28
jurisdictions reported changes in decision-making authority (Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky,
Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, and South
Carolina).
131

132

The jurisdictions that reported new grievance policies were Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Jersey, and New Mexico.
133

Twenty-six jurisdictions responded to this question. The 22 jurisdictions that reported increased monitoring of the
mental health of prisoners in restrictive housing were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho,
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Three jurisdictions reported requiring daily mental health rounds. Alaska reported, “all prisoners in segregation are
contacted by mental health on a daily basis and monitored for indications of issues.” Montana reported that “daily
rounds are done on each block by our mental health staff.” Washington reported:
134

Per policy, offenders in restrictive housing receive a visit from a health care provider at a minimum of daily.
Mental Health staff will conduct rounds in restricted housing at least once a week. An offender can request
to be seen by mental health and will be seen in person within 48 hours . . . . If there is concern for a person
when . . . rounds are conducted, the person will have a face-to-face evaluation. If the evaluation determines
the restrictive housing environment is detrimental to their mental health, an alternative setting will be
recommended with greater access to mental health services.
Eight jurisdictions reported rounds once or more per week. Alabama reported that “Mental Health staff tour”
the restrictive housing unit “4 times per week.” Arizona reported, “weekly rounds occur to assess for
decompensation”; “If mental health needs are identified, the inmate is placed on a caseload and seen routinely . . . .
Alternative placements are considered to determine if placement into a mental health program is required.” Georgia
reported that prisoners in restrictive housing are “monitored weekly and per request.” Idaho reported that “clinicians
walk the units weekly and immediately make notification to administration if someone is found to be
decompensating.” Illinois reported that “DR 504 changes require mental health to make visits to segregation not less
than 1 time/week.” Massachusetts reported requiring “rounds by a consistent qualified mental health professional
twice weekly who monitors for any changes in mental status and/or behavior that would suggest additional assessment
for signs and symptoms of mental illness”; “if status changes,” a “full mental health assessment is completed and
determination of treatment needs of that evaluation.” Ohio reported, any prisoner “in Restrictive Housing is seen by
Mental Health every week and has a review conducted every 30 days.” South Carolina reported, “one year ago SCDC
went from Monthly rounds to Weekly rounds.”

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Massachusetts reported that people with serious mental illness in restrictive housing “for more than 30 days are
reviewed monthly by a high level central office multi-disciplinary team.” Ohio reported a similar policy of “review
conducted every 30 days.” Pennsylvania described implementing clinical “contacts by psychology for all RHU/DTU
[Restricted Housing Units / Diversionary Treatment Units] . . . for three consecutive days after admission . . . to focus
on suicidality” and had also made available “on the RHU/DTU 24 hours per day” “Certified Peer Specialists” who
“shall be informed of new receptions so they can check in with them.”
135

The jurisdictions that reported increasing restrictive-housing prisoners’ time out-of-cell were Alaska, Arizona,
Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska,
New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
136

137

The jurisdictions reporting adding more structured time out-of-cell were Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia,
Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North
Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington. Two jurisdictions indicated that they were in the
process of increasing their structured out-of-cell time. Montana explained that it was “still in the production phase
right now and will be completed in the next year.” Oregon reported it was “working to increase structured out-of-cell
time in certain types of RH.” Examples of initiatives to increase out-of-cell time included a “peer group led by
community mental health peers” in Nebraska, and twice-a-month game nights or movie nights in North Dakota.
138

The jurisdictions that reported that they had enabled restrictive-housing prisoners to eat meals in social settings
were Arizona (for Step 2 and Step 3 prisoners), Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, and South Dakota.
The jurisdictions that reported adding more “unstructured (recreational)” time out-of-cell were Alaska, Arizona
(“Step 3 inmates are permitted out of cell leisure time”), Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, and Texas.
139

140

Those jurisdictions were Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New York, North
Dakota, and Texas.
141

The jurisdictions that reported adding classes were Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland,
Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oregon.
142

The jurisdictions that reported adding a GED or diploma program were Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia,
Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. These 13
jurisdictions did not include Alaska, Minnesota, New Jersey, or Ohio, all of which reported having a GED or diploma
program prior to the 2016 ACA revisions. Montana stated such a program was “under review and production.”
143

The jurisdictions that reported increased visitation hours were Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New York,
North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington. Montana reported it was reviewing its visiting policy.
144

The jurisdictions that reported increased phone time were Colorado, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota,
Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Montana reported it was reviewing its visiting
policy.
145

The jurisdictions that reported increased out-of-cell group programming and/or classes were Alabama, Alaska,
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and
Wisconsin. Among these jurisdictions, the topics of such group classes included anger management in Alaska,
Arkansas, Delaware, and North Carolina; life skills in North Carolina and Utah; group educational programming in
Colorado, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio; substance use recovery in North Carolina and Ohio; and
other mental health or therapeutic programming in Alaska, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota,
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Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio. Examples of other mental
health or therapeutic programming included “behavior modification” and “self-reflection” in Delaware; “Thinking for
change” in Iowa and North Dakota, which reported using a modified program; and “EAGLE (Emotions, Attitude,
Growth, Learning, and Excelling)” in Missouri. Maryland reported its programming was a “recent implementation,”
and noted that it was “in the process of developing further programming opportunities with case management,
psychology and social work.”
146

That jurisdiction was North Carolina.

147

That jurisdiction was Missouri.

148

That jurisdiction was North Carolina.

149

That jurisdiction was Alaska.

150

The jurisdictions that reported adding more group recreation opportunities were Alaska, Arizona, Colorado,
Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Utah, and Washington.
151

The jurisdictions that reported increased in-cell learning opportunities were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas,
Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North
Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Twenty-two of 36
jurisdictions also reported increased access to resources such as reading materials, videos, and music for prisoners in
restrictive housing. Those 22 jurisdictions were Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa,
Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. Eight of these 22 jurisdictions reported
distributing to prisoners personal devices such as tablets, televisions, MP3 players, or radios. Those eight jurisdictions
were Alaska, Delaware, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Alaska,
Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and Nevada described allowing access to “literary materials,” and Georgia, North
Carolina, and Washington reported allowing access to a common television. Maryland and Nevada specifically
reported adding access to legal materials. Montana reported that it was “in the process of implementing a tablet system
with in cell learning opportunities.”
152

Those jurisdictions were Alaska; Colorado, which provided for post-secondary education; Georgia, which provided
for GED education; and New York, which noted that cell study was available at the prisoners’ own expense.
153

That jurisdiction was Texas.

Arizona reported having “CCTV in-cell self-help study programs.” Maryland reported having “video
opportunities.” Ohio reported allowing “use of television” in some cases. Texas reported that prisoners in restrictive
housing had the ability to “watch videos.”
154

Idaho reported that prisoners “in restrictive housing can access kiosk with JP5 device.” Ohio reported allowing
“the JPlayer.” Wisconsin reported that “portable smartboards were purchased in addition to computers for improved
access to education for <20-year-old at risk special needs inmates in restrictive housing.”
155

North Carolina reported that prisoners “receive in-cell learning opportunities by use of interactive journals
published by the Change Companies.” Ohio reported providing “paper based programs.”
156

157

The jurisdictions that had added some form of mental health training for staff were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona,
Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South
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Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Montana reported that its mental health training for
staff was still being reviewed. Idaho’s draft revised policies, to be implemented in summer 2018, established additional
mental health training for restrictive housing staff.
158

Alabama reported training with the Department of Justice, the National Institute of Corrections, and the National
Commission on Correctional Health Care. Arizona explained that it had “contracted with NIC concluding training for
40 key staff that work in restrictive housing in Mental Health First Aid.” Delaware stated: “DOC has sent staff to
ACA and NIC sponsored trainings on behavioral health and mental health first aid. DOC offers educational assistance
to employees who wish to pursue additional studies in a chosen relevant field. DOC has partnered with other state
agencies in Delaware to provide training on behavioral health issues.”
159

Thirty-one jurisdictions responded to this question. The jurisdictions that reported having opportunities for staff
education related to restrictive housing were Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland,
Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Two jurisdictions, Montana and Nebraska, reported
that they were reviewing their policies.
Arizona reported having “specialized 24-hour mental health training with classes starting in October 2017,” and
contracting with NIC for “training for 40 key staff that work in restrictive housing in Mental Health First Aid.”
Connecticut reported “Mental Health Training is organized by Correctional Managed Health Care.” Delaware reported
that “mental health first aid” was “a part of Correctional Employee Initial Training class and offered to existing
correctional staff on a voluntary basis.” Delaware also explained that it “sent staff to ACA and NIC sponsored trainings
on behavioral health and mental health first aid.” Illinois stated that “IDOC was mandated to train ALL staff in NAMI
training per Rasho agreement.” Maryland reported that “Mental Health First Aid” training was provided to staff.
Massachusetts related that “MADOC staff receive centralized annual in-service training on Recognizing the Signs and
Symptoms of Mental Illness and Suicide Prevention and Intervention. At the site level, Mental Health Directors
provide specific mental health training tailored to the needs of the facility and its population.” Missouri stated that it
provided “annual mental health training to staff,” and “has been expanding the use of Crisis Intervention Training for
staff, especially those staff assigned to segregation.” North Carolina reported that staff “are required to have training
in Motivational Interviewing and Crisis Intervention,” and that “TDU staff have completed the ACA Behavioral
Health Certification training.” Rhode Island stated that mental health training “is part of normal in-service training
but is not specific to” restrictive housing. South Carolina reported that all “security staff receive Mental Health
training. Tennessee reported that staff receive “Correctional Behavioral Health Training.” Texas explained that the
“Pre-Service Training Academy . . . includes 32 hours of mental health/crisis intervention training,” and that additional
“mental health/crisis intervention training has been incorporated into annual in-service training.” In addition, Texas
reported that each unit “provides turnout training regarding suicide prevention and mental health/crisis intervention
on a regular and frequent basis.” Utah stated that the “UDC certified staff received basic annual training on mental
health.” Washington reported that a “large portion of restricted housing staff have received ‘Working with Offenders
with Mental Health’ training, Individual Behavioral Management Plan (IBMP) training, and in some cases
Motivational Interviewing.”
160

161

Those jurisdictions were Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, South Carolina, and Texas.
Colorado, Massachusetts, and Minnesota reported providing these programs annually for all staff. Texas stated that
each “unit provides turnout training regarding suicide prevention . . . on a regular and frequent basis.”
162

Those jurisdictions were Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South
Carolina, and Texas.
163

Those jurisdictions were Arizona, North Carolina, and Washington.

164

That jurisdiction was North Dakota.

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165

That jurisdiction was Minnesota.

166

That jurisdiction was Alabama.

167

Thirty-one jurisdictions responded to this question. The 14 jurisdictions that reported a staff rotation policy were
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana,
North Dakota, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Alaska explained, “generally staff are rotated out after a year in the
segregation unit.” Arizona reported that “ADC rotates staff as a statewide measure every five years or by request.”
Arkansas reported having a staff rotation policy related to staffing of restrictive housing. Connecticut stated that
“Correctional Officer post rotations occur every 56 or 112 days depending on the facility and shift.” Idaho noted that
job postings for restrictive housing were “exempt from seniority bidding and staff must apply to work in these units.”
Kentucky stated that staff rotations were “considered annually and by request.” Maryland explained that staff rotations
varied “from facility to facility.” Massachusetts reported that “security staff are rotated annually” in restrictive housing
units and “specialized units.” Minnesota stated that “officers in restrictive housing units are rotated out of the
assignment for a minimum of 3 months after 2 years.” Missouri explained that “uniformed custody staff are not
rotated,” but that “case management staff are rotated at a minimum of every two years.” Montana stated it provided
staff rotations “once every 2 to 3 years if staffing allows.” North Dakota explained it tried “not to allow” staff “to
work past 18 months in the Behavioral Health Unit.” South Carolina reported that staff rotate “every 18 months” and
“may request to remain in RHU longer with 24 months being the maximum.” Wisconsin stated that staff rotations
varied “depending on the institution.”
168

That jurisdiction was Connecticut.

169

That jurisdiction was Arizona.

170

Thirty-eight jurisdictions responded to this question. The 20 jurisdictions that required this advance information be
given to prisoners were Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington,
and Wisconsin.
Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, and Utah stated that they made their restrictive housing handbook
or disciplinary manual accessible to prisoners. Mississippi required prisoners to “familiarize themselves with the
offender handbook and acknowledge participation and understanding of the rules and regulations of the program by
signing a written contract.” Alaska, Colorado Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Washington provided
information about the criteria directly to prisoners through an orientation or meeting. North Dakota noted that the
“behavioral plan” is not shared with the “resident” “if doing so would jeopardize the safety of the resident, staff, other
residents, or the public.”
171

Thirty-five jurisdictions answered this question. The 21 jurisdictions that reported that they have already
implemented this change were Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah. In addition to these 21 jurisdictions, Mississippi reported that its
process involved a “committee recommendation” but that the “offender services director” made the “final decision.”
North Carolina reported that it was developing a policy, “targeted for implementation November, 2017,” that would
“move classification decisions to a committee process.”
The 2016 ACA Standards offer the definition of a step-down program as “a program that includes a system of
review and establishes criteria to prepare an inmate for transition to general population or the community.” ACA 2016
RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 4.
172

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173

Twenty-seven jurisdictions reported having added step-down or transition programs. Those jurisdictions were
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington.
Three jurisdictions—Idaho, Massachusetts, and Oregon—noted they were developing step-down programs.
Idaho reported it was “in the draft phase of a mandatory step up program.” Massachusetts reported it piloted “a stepdown unit in our largest medium security prison in November, 2017” in the form of “a 90-day program targeting the
criminogenic needs that originally created the pathway” to restrictive housing. “It is a dorm style housing unit so no
one is locked in cells at all, just restricted privileges with a clear pathway back to general population.” Oregon reported
that a step-down program was “in development.”
For example, Alaska reported using “progressive reduction of restrictions . . . awarded after periods of demonstrated
good behavior and programming.” Colorado stated that its “close custody units/designations” allowed for “increasing
privileges/incentives as offenders progress.” Maryland explained that its restrictive housing policy had “a level-system
built in that provides for the increase of both programs and privileges to make for a smooth transition into general
population.” Minnesota reported that its step-down plan included increasing privileges, amenities, and movement.”
Montana stated that “step downs occur as inmates progress through a 6 level system where their privileges increase.”
New Mexico described a progressive four-step program. Oklahoma reported a pilot step-down program, which
consisted of “four phases that are progressively less restrictive.” Pennsylvania stated it had created a “step down unit
and portal program, which used “a progressive four-tiered phase system based on the inmate’s adjustment and
attainment of goals/objectives.” Utah reported that prisoners in restrictive housing must “progress through three
phases” of restrictive housing.
174

Colorado reported having a “Management Control Unit High Risk, Management Control Unit, and Close Custody
Transition Unit (CCTU).” Nebraska stated it “established several mission specific housing units,” which included
“protective management, active senior unit, veterans unit, and the challenge program,” as alternatives to or “transition
out of” restrictive housing. Nevada reported adding a Behavior Modification Unit. North Carolina reported having
two different units, the “Therapeutic Diversion Unit” and the “Rehabilitative Diversion Unit.” North Dakota stated it
had a “transition unit . . . to help prepare people who have been living in the behavior intervention unit for general
population.” Ohio described a “hybrid sanctioning system” with a “Limited Privilege Housing” step-down. Oklahoma
explained its “Step-Down Program” was a separate housing unit. Pennsylvania stated its PORTAL program was
housed in a separate unit. Washington reported that one of its facilities added a “transition pod,” which allowed two
prisoners “assigned to Maximum custody to be on the tier with each other without restraints on for several hours a
day,” and to be “around custody staff on the tier without restraints as well.”
175

176

That jurisdiction was Minnesota.

177

That jurisdiction was North Dakota.

Alabama reported that step-down programs were “in use at 2 facilities. The inmates must be in medium custody
and have shown a pattern of improved behavior to be considered for return to population.”
178

Alaska stated its facilities had “a step-down program for Maximum Custody prisoners which allows
progressive reduction of restrictions that are awarded after periods of demonstrated good behavior and programming.”
Arizona explained that there were five step-down segments: upon entry in restrictive housing, prisoners are
“evaluated and placed into a step reduction system based on behavior and/or reason for placement. Inmates begin the
process at Browning, (our most restrictive and secure) and reduce to our Special Management Unit (SMU). SMU is
considered an intermediary placement with increased programing and interaction opportunity. From SMU, inmates
transition to Central Unit where they are offered more group program/recreational opportunity.”
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Arkansas reported it had created a step-down program.
Colorado related that all prisoners in extended restrictive housing were “eligible for progression and
placement in the step-down/transition program based upon their actions/behaviors. The close custody
units/designations allow for increasing privileges/incentives as offenders progress . . . . The cognitive programming
provided within CCTU normally takes 12 weeks to complete.”
Delaware related that its policy required a step-down program, but it had “not yet been implemented into
practice.” Georgia reported it had “Tier II step down units for offenders on phase 3+, who have been in restrictive
housing for 270+ days.”
Idaho reported a “step-up program” in which prisoners in “long-term restrictive housing are automatically
enrolled.” Idaho provided its policy on the step-up program, which stated: “During the first 30-day review, the
chairperson must provide written goals required to move from step one to step two. Inmates will continue to receive
goals in writing for each successive step as they progress, until completion of the step-up program . . . . The designated
deputy chief of prisons must develop a tracking process with the assistance of the research and analysis group at
headquarters to measure effectiveness of the step-up program . . . .”
Iowa reported that “small modifications” “connected to recreation time, out of cell time and property
modifications” had occurred in its step-down program.
Kentucky reported step-down programs at three institutions (two male, one female): “Each program lasts 612 months. Inmates are eligible based on treatment team and classification referral.”
Maryland explained that its restrictive housing policy had “a level-system built in that provides for the
increase of both programs and privileges to make for a smooth transition into general population. Within the review
process alternative programs and incentives are considered, such as drug counseling or cognitive aimed at reducing
violence. Within the MaxII Structured Housing there are phases and incentives geared to transition the inmate to a
less restrictive environment. Once sanction is completed, individual moves to structured, less restrictive housing and
has opportunity to progress with out of cell activities in small group settings. As behavior dictates, he continues to
progress (or regress) with available programming.”
Massachusetts stated it was piloting “a step down unit in our largest medium security prison in November,
2017. It is a 90 day program targeting the criminogenic needs that originally created the pathway to RH. It is a dorm
style housing unit so no one is locked in cells at all, just restricted privileges with a clear pathway back to general
population.”
As noted above, Minnesota related that prisoners “who have a history of staff or offender assault, or who
have served more than 90 days in disciplinary segregation are evaluated for a step-down plan to general population.”
Mississippi reported having a “High Risk Incentive Tier” that provided the opportunity for prisoners to
“receive services and privileges as part of a program to encourage and promote good institutional behavior.”
Missouri reported that it had not changed its policy but that several of its facilities had “created step-down or
transition programs.”
Montana stated that “step downs occur as inmates progress through a 6 level system where their privileges
increase. Treatment programs are also coordinated through their case managers in association with the levels.”
Nebraska explained it had “established several mission specific housing units which are alternatives to RH
or act as a transition out of RH.”

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Nevada described a “Behavior Modification Unit” “intended to transition an inmate from a segregation unit
to one that is similar to general population. Placement in BMU provides the inmate with a period of adjustment to
interact with staff and other inmates and work towards the development of proper social skills. Inmates who are still
serving disciplinary sanctions and are within 30 days of the projected release date to the community are transferred to
a BMU, depending on the inmates propensity for misconduct.”
New Jersey reported: “Inmates placed in administrative segregation as a result of a sanction may be assigned
to a SDU by a centralized committee for transition to GP or the community. The placement phases are
Reception/Initial, Congregate and Extended Congregate. Therapeutic activity and services are available. A SDU
committee will review and advance the inmate through each phase.”
New Mexico described a four step program: “Step 1 Evaluation 30 days. Step 2 Self Accountability 90 days
but if enhancements needed up to 240 days. Step 3 is Cultural Competency which is 120 days but up to 360 days with
enhancements. Step 4 is reintegration with 120 days but up to 300 days with enhancements. For females step 1 is 15
days. Step 2 is 30 days. Step 3 is 45 days and Step 4 is 90 days. No enhancements with the females.”
New York stated that, effective October 2016, “SHU Step-down to the Community Programs” were
“established at Green Haven Correctional Facility (“Green Haven”) and Wende Correctional Facility (“Wende”) to
provide re-entry programming to inmates who have been in a SHU cell for 60 days or more serving a SHU or keep
lock sanction and who have a minimum of 45 days and a maximum of 60 days to release . . . . The program goal is to
assist participants with the development of a comprehensive release plan, incorporating social skills practice, relapse
prevention, family reintegration and employment readiness. Behavior modification and relapse prevention will be
addressed by modalities such as identifying high-risk behaviors, emotional regulation exercises, social skills practice,
discussing how to deal with fear and the feelings of others, and how to ask and respond to questions.”
North Carolina related it had two step-down programs available: “the Therapeutic Diversion Units for those
with a higher mental health acuity, and the Rehabilitative Diversion Unit. The inmates eligible for the RDU are close
custody males over 21 years old, who have received a sanction of RH for Control Purposes for assaultive or violent
infractions. This program takes a minimum of 13 months to complete, and incorporates three phases. In each phase,
the step-down includes less restrictions and increased out-of-cell time and privileges, such as more options in canteen,
increase in phone calls, movement throughout the facility and program opportunities such as high school
equivalency. The first inmates to participate began 2/22/16. The TDUs are intended to enhance the care and custody
for individuals diagnosed with mental illness, decrease incidents involving violence and/or self-harm, decrease the
need for placement in a restrictive housing setting and improve the quality of life for this population. The TDU assists
individuals with mental illness in developing effective emotional regulation and self-management skills,
understanding their symptom presentation and patterns, and helps prepare for re-entry into a less restrictive
environment within the prison and ultimately successful transition to the community.”
North Dakota’s description of its step-down program is reported in the text above.
Ohio reported it had a “transition from Extended Restrictive Housing to General Population for 6 years.”
Ohio explained: “We have concluded that short-term Restrictive Housing does not need a mandatory step down, but
we do have a hybrid sanctioning system where an inmate can be first placed in short-term Restrictive Housing and
then stepped down into Limited Privilege Housing.”
Oklahoma provided a detailed program of its piloted step-down program at Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
The policy, adopted in September 2017, stated that the “purpose of Step-Down Programs are to provide inmates
transferred to maximum security a safe and secure way to earn their return to lower security. Upon arrival, inmates
will be evaluated to determine appropriate housing needs and assessed to identify their level of social functioning and
motivation to change . . . . Step-Down Programs will be comprised of components that are designed to address criminal
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thinking and encourage pro-social behaviors. Programs will consist of four phases that are progressively less restrictive
with Phase I being the most restrictive and Phase IV the least restrictive . . . .”
Pennsylvania also provided a detailed overview of its step-down unit and PORTAL program. That summary
stated, that the “Department established a Positive Outcome Restructuring Through Assessments and Learning
(PORTAL) program designed specifically to provide therapeutic programming, education, and socialization
opportunities for individuals confined to a Level 5 (L-5) setting for extended periods. The goal of the program is to
provide the skills necessary to gain recommendation for placement into a step down unit and return to general
population . . . . After facility recommendation and approval by the Executive staff, the inmate will transfer to an
approved institution to complete re-integration into general population. The program will use a progressive four-tiered
phase system based on the inmate’s adjustment and attainment of goals/objectives noted in his/her Individual
Treatment Plan (ITP).”
South Carolina reported “The Step-Down Program is an incentive-based offender management program
which creates a pathway for offenders to transition from Restrictive Housing. The Intensive Management Program is
a one year program. And Restrictive Management Step-Down is a six month program for inmates in Security
Detention, Disciplinary Detention or Short Term Detention.”
Utah explained that prisoners in restrictive housing “must progress through the three phases of RH to reach
completion. Each phase is 45 days and each phase has a corresponding program. The inmate must also remain
discipline free to successfully complete the RH phases.”
Washington stated that a “transition pod” had been “developed and implemented at the Monroe Correctional
Complex (MCC) Intensive Management Unit (IMU). The transition pod allows for two offenders assigned to
Maximum custody to be on the tier with each other without restraints on for several hours a day. The offenders are
around custody staff on the tier without restraints as well.”
179

Those jurisdictions were Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina,
Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Wisconsin.
180

That jurisdiction was Montana.

That jurisdiction was North Carolina, which reported that “mentally ill inmates have a 30 day maximum as
determined by the multidisciplinary team. This time can be extended if it is determined that the inmate poses a safety
or security risk and RH is not considered detrimental to their health.”
181

Those jurisdictions were Iowa, which reported “60 days DD maximum prior to moving through the programming”;
Massachusetts, which reported “the maximum for our disciplinary unit is ten years. Short term, non-disciplinary
segregation does not have a duration attached to it”; Minnesota, which reported a maximum of “90 days for
disciplinary segregation”; and South Carolina, which reported that “Disciplinary Detention is a maximum of 60 days.”
182

183

Montana reported a total length of stay of 1.7 years in restrictive housing across all stages. Utah reported a 45-day
maximum for each of its three restrictive-housing stages. South Dakota reported shortening the maximum duration
for two of its restrictive-housing stages, from 90 and 120 days to 60 and 90 days, respectively. South Dakota stated,
“on March 7, 2017, changes were made in the duration for two levels in the administrative restrictive housing Level
System. Level 2 was changed from 90 to 60 days and Level 4 was changed from 120 to 90 days. This change reduced
the overall duration for the program to 360 days instead of 420 for those completing the program on a timely basis.”
Those jurisdictions were Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, and Ohio. Colorado reported that the “maximum durations
for specific infractions/behavior” were “either up to 6 months or up to 12 months.” Illinois reported that maximum
“penalties per charge” had been “reduced,” resulting in a reduction of “the total, maximum amount of restrictive
184

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housing time for all offenses by 107 months (8.9 years),” although there was “no maximum duration” to a prisoner’s
placement in restrictive housing if the prisoner received “continuous sanctions for separate incidents that would run
consecutively.” Kentucky reported that its “disciplinary penalty structure has been altered to reduce the amount of
days to be issued per offense.” Ohio reported a prisoner could “only be given a maximum of 29 days” in restrictive
housing “for an individual offense,” which was “the extent of authority any local official” had “to place an inmate
into” restrictive housing. “In rare cases, an inmate can be housed” in restrictive housing “longer than 29 days for an
investigation or pending classification action, but these must be reviewed by a higher authority.”
Those jurisdictions were Wisconsin, which reported maximum durations on restrictive housing of up to “120 days
without review” and “up to 360 days with review”; and South Carolina, which reported that “Security Detention”
prisoners were “reviewed every 90 days to determine eligibility for removal from RHU.”
185

186

Seeking Accreditation, AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION, available at http://www.aca.org/
ACA_Prod_IMIS/ACA_Member/Standards_and_Accreditation/Seeking_Accreditation_Home.aspx.
187

AMERICAN CORRECTIONAL ASSOCIATION, MANUAL OF ACCREDITATION POLICY & PROCEDURE 6, 9–10 (Mar. 15,
2017), available at http://www.aca.org/ACA_Prod_IMIS/docs/standards%20and%20accreditation/ALM-1-3_15_17Final.pdf.
188

ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21.

Id. at 4. The ASCA-Liman Survey asked: “Has your jurisdiction reviewed its policies since then on restrictive
housing?” “Does your jurisdiction rely on these standards to make policies?” We also asked about whether
jurisdictions had implemented the ACA Standards regarding juveniles, pregnant women, and individuals diagnosed
with serious mental illness and regarding the release of prisoners from restrictive housing directly into the community.
We further sought to learn whether any other policies had been “revised in light of the 2016 ACA restrictive housing
standards.”
189

190

Forty-three jurisdictions responded to this question. The 36 jurisdictions that reported that they reviewed their
policies since the release of the ACA Standards were Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia,
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Both
Illinois and Nevada responded that they had not revised their policies since 2016. However, Illinois elaborated that in
April 2017 it had worked “to institute changes to the Corrections’ Administrative Codes, changing policies as related
to discipline and restrictive housing.” Similarly, Nevada reported that the “Nevada Legislature mandated that the
NDOC evaluate its restrictive housing policies. The NDOC’s leadership has also voluntarily instituted regulations and
practices that are intended to improve the wellbeing of inmates and reduce the length of stay in prison.” Nebraska
reported that it would be reviewing its policies again by July 1, 2018.
Of the 43 jurisdictions that responded, Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, and Utah reported that they were
undergoing review of their restrictive housing policies in the fall of 2017, when the survey was underway. Missouri
reported that it had not revised its policies since 2016 but that “this survey and revised 2016 ACA standards have
provided guidance and are assisting the Missouri Department of Corrections in improving our automation, as well as
policy changes related to restrictive housing. The department has established a team for this purpose and it is our intent
that this team will be able to develop a policy that will put us better in compliance with the 2016 ACA standards.”
Utah likewise reported that it had not revised its policies since 2016 but that its “Division of Prison Operations” was
working with the Vera Institute of Justice “to look at alternatives to segregation,” and was “using NIC guidelines and
reviewing ACA guidelines for comparison to NIC, and adjusting policy as necessary.” In addition, Colorado noted it
had piloted “the standards prior to implementation” and had since “codified all standards in policy.”
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191

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
192

Those jurisdictions were Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington, and
Wisconsin.
193

Those jurisdictions were Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Of
these eight, Georgia responded that it intended to rely on the ACA Standards in the future.
194

ACA Standard 4-RH-0030, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 35.

195

Twenty jurisdictions of the 42 reported that they implemented the policy after the ACA Standards were issued.
Those jurisdictions were Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts,
Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, and
Wisconsin. Six jurisdictions reported that not releasing prisoners directly to the community from restrictive housing
had been their policy prior to the ACA revisions. Those jurisdictions were Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi,
Rhode Island, and Texas.
196

Those jurisdictions were Kansas, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Alabama, Alaska,
Arizona, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wyoming reported that they had
not implemented this Standard. Hawaii responded, “N/A.”
197

North Carolina reported that it had established two step-down units: a Rehabilitative Diversion Unit (RDU) and
Therapeutic Diversion Units (TDUs). The RDU was for “close custody males over 21 years old who have received a
sanction” of restrictive housing “for Control Purposes for assaultive or violent infractions. This program takes a
minimum of 13 months to complete and incorporates three phases. In each phase, the step-down includes less
restrictions and increased out-of-cell time and privileges, such as more options in canteen, increase in phone calls,
movement throughout the facility and program opportunities such as high school equivalency.” The TDUs were
“intended to enhance the care and custody for individuals diagnosed with mental illness, decrease incidents involving
violence and/or self-harm, decrease the need for placement in a restrictive housing setting and improve the quality of
life for this population. The TDU assists individuals with mental illness in developing effective emotional regulation
and self-management skills, understanding their symptom presentation and patterns, and helps prepare for re-entry
into a less restrictive environment within the prison and ultimately successful transition to the community.”
Oregon reported that it did its best to avoid directly releasing people from restrictive housing into the
community but that “there are situations in which the safety of the individual or others would be compromised if
he/she were removed from” restrictive housing “prior to release.” Pennsylvania explained that this “policy was in
place as part of” its January 2015 “Disability Rights Network settlement” with the Department of Corrections.
Washington stated that it did its best to ensure prisoners transition back to general population before they are released
to the community, but that there were “times and situations” where direct release to the community could not be
avoided, such as when people in restrictive housing had six months or less remaining time in their sentences. In such
cases, it focused “on ensuring all services that are available can be provided upon release, housing vouchers,
medication, access to treatment, etc.” Kansas reported that it had “addressed” this Standard “through practices” but
had not made a corresponding “policy change.”
Sixteen jurisdictions reported that they had not implemented this Standard. Those jurisdictions were Alaska,
Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
198

ACA Standard 4-RH-0033, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 9.

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199

ACA Standard 4-RH-0031, id. at 36.

200

Forty-one jurisdictions responded to this question. Twelve jurisdictions reported that they had implemented the
Standard after the ACA Standards were issued. Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware,
Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Utah. Nine jurisdictions indicated that
it was their policy before the ACA Standards. Those jurisdictions were Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland,
Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and Texas. Colorado explained that before “the 2016 ACA revisions all
offenders with serious mental illness were removed from administrative segregation and placed in a Residential
Treatment Program in January 2014. There have been no exceptions.” Alabama reported that it had “substantially
implemented this policy, with exceptions” but explained that “inmates diagnosed with serious mental illness have
been removed from RH and are housed in a RTU. Additional MH staff are being hired.”
201

Those jurisdictions were Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Illinois reported involving mental health
resources. It described notifying a mental health professional when placement in disciplinary restrictive housing was
possible for a mentally ill prisoner. The mental health professional “reviews if the offender’s mental health condition
may have been a factor in the incident, or if placement in restrictive housing may be detrimental to the mental health.
They may also make a recommendation as to the maximum amount of restrictive housing an offender may serve.”
North Carolina reported using extended restrictive housing as a safety measure when no alternative was available.
North Carolina reported that it considered placement in a less-restrictive therapeutic diversion unit (TDU). It also
reported taking into account whether confinement will have a “detrimental impact” on individuals with mental illness
and that a “multidisciplinary team” reviewed placements of this population in restrictive housing every 30 days “to
determine if continuation of RH is indicated based on safety and security factors.” Ohio reported that it had
“dramatically reduced” the use of extended restrictive housing for prisoners with serious mental illness. Pennsylvania
stated that this “policy was in place as part of the Disability Rights Network settlement” with the Department of
Corrections.
202

The data described in Section II of this report (discussing placement of those with serious mental illness in
restrictive housing) relied on each jurisdiction’s own definition of serious mental illness.
203

ACA Standard 4-RH-00004, ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 9.

204

Eleven of these 22 jurisdictions implemented the policy after the ACA Standards were issued. Those jurisdictions
were Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Washington, and Wisconsin. North Carolina explained that “Restrictive Housing was totally eliminated from this
population effective June 2016,” and that it had “a Youthful Offender Program” where prisoners under age 18 were
“placed on Modified Housing when serious incidents occur.” Washington explained that “WDOC has jurisdiction
over individuals sentenced as adults. Those under age 18 sentenced as adults are managed by a different agency and
will not come to our facilities until sometime after age 18. It is rare to have an individual come to a DOC facility while
they are under age 18 for more than a short amount of time.” Another 11 jurisdictions stated that this was their policy
before 2016. Those jurisdictions were Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New York,
Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.
205

Those jurisdictions were Minnesota and Oklahoma. Fifteen jurisdictions responded that they had not implemented
this Standard. Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts,
Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming. Idaho explained that its draft
revised policies, to be implemented in the summer of 2018, would prevent placement of individuals under 18 years
old in restrictive housing.
Oklahoma reported that, “consistent with PREA standards, specific facilities and housing units within these
facilities have been designated for inmates under 18 years of age.” Minnesota reported a seven-day maximum duration
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for juveniles in disciplinary restrictive housing, except “for offenders who continue to assault staff,” and explained
that “offenders under 18 housed in adult facilities participate in incentive programs to deter disruptive behavior.”
206

ACA 2016 RESTRICTIVE HOUSING STANDARDS, supra note 21, at 3. The survey results regarding the placement of
pregnant prisoners in restrictive housing are discussed in Section II of this Report.
207

Seventeen jurisdictions said they had implemented the policy after the ACA Standards were issued. Those
jurisdictions were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wyoming. Eight jurisdictions
reported that this was their policy before 2016. Those jurisdictions were Colorado (“CDOC does not have Extended
Restrictive Housing for female offenders and does not have restrictive housing for any female offenders.”),
Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.
208

Those jurisdictions were Illinois, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Washington. Among these four jurisdictions that
had “substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions,” South Dakota reported that it complied with this
Standard in practice and was currently revising its written policy accordingly. Illinois responded that “medical
conditions of offenders shall be considered at the time of the committing offense.” Two jurisdictions explained that,
in “rare” or “extreme” cases, placement of a pregnant prisoner in restrictive housing was necessary for safety reasons:
New Jersey reported that it “prohibits” the placement of pregnant prisoners in administrative segregation but that “in
extreme cases an inmate who is pregnant, is postpartum, recently had a miscarriage, or recently had a terminated
pregnancy may be placed in MCU [the Management Control Unit] for repeated infractions.” At the time of the survey,
New Jersey reported that no pregnant women were in its MCU. Washington reported that in “very rare situations, a
woman who is pregnant, is postpartum, recently had a miscarriage, or recently had a terminated pregnancy may be
placed in restrictive housing as a temporary response to behavior that poses a serious and immediate risk of physical
harm.” Washington reported that procedural safeguards were involved when a pregnant or recently-pregnant woman
was placed in restrictive housing: “this decision must be approved by the agency’s senior official overseeing women’s
programs and services, in consultation with senior officials in health services, and must be reviewed every 24 hours.”
Twelve jurisdictions indicated that they had not implemented this Standard. Those jurisdictions were Alaska,
Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and
Wisconsin.
We also asked jurisdictions to describe any other changes to their restrictive-housing policies in light of the
revised ACA Standards. Nine of 20 jurisdictions that responded to the question indicated that they had or were in the
process of doing so. Those jurisdictions were Arkansas, Colorado, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania,
Utah, and Wisconsin. Three jurisdictions of the nine reported additional broad policy changes. Arkansas had “made
changes to our Protective Custody, Disciplinary Court Review, Punitive-Segregation Policies as well as our Inmate
Disciplinary Manual.” Colorado had updated 16 department policies: 100-19 Communication with Offenders, 100-40
Prison Rape Elimination Procedure, 300-01 Offender Visiting Program, 500-02 Library Services, 550-11 Offender
Release, 600-01 Offender Classification, 600-09 Management of Close Custody Offenders, 700-03 Mental Health
Scope of Service, 700-29 Mental Health Interventions, 750-01 Legal Access, 850-10 Emergency Notification, 850-12
Telephone Regulations for Offenders, 850-07 Offender Reception and Orientation 1, 000-01 Recreation and Hobby
Work 1, 350-02 Victim Notification Program 1, and 550-02 Food Service Menu Planning and Service. Ohio had
“updated over 30 policies, including medical, mental health, classification, special management, recreation, education,
business, Reentry, Health and Safety, Unit Management, Security, and a myriad of other policies.” Montana reported
structural changes to its restrictive-housing system: “Our special management policy has been changed and our
classification policy has been changed as we used to have Administrative segregation for long term and then Max
custody for our extended stay in segregation. Now all are under the Maximum custody following a 6-level system.”

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209

Fourteen jurisdictions responded to this question. The jurisdictions that reported new or changed data collection
practices were Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New
Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, and Washington.
210

Those jurisdictions were Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New
Mexico, and Washington.
211

Those jurisdictions were Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington.

212

Those jurisdictions were Arkansas, Iowa, and Washington.

213

Those jurisdictions were Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Washington.

214

Those jurisdictions were Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, and Washington.

215

Those jurisdictions were Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Washington.

216

Those jurisdictions were Delaware, Iowa, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, Washington, and Wisconsin.

217

Those jurisdictions were Iowa and Wisconsin.

218

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Delaware, Nebraska, and Washington. Of these four, Nebraska referenced a
“new data system effective November 2017” that was “tracking a number of metrics” but that had not yet yielded
“reportable data.” Washington reported that it “has started to evaluate the effectiveness of congregate classroom
programming within restricted housing.” Delaware explained that, pursuant to a settlement agreement, it would for
the next five years conduct monthly audits of the “number of inmates” in restrictive housing and of “demographics
and out of cell data (structured and unstructured), disciplinary info, and mental health status for that population.”
219

That jurisdiction was Oregon.

220

That jurisdiction was Arizona.

221

That jurisdiction was North Dakota.

222

The jurisdiction was Arizona, which referred to Travis J. Meyers, Arynn Infante & Kevin Wright, Addressing
Serious Violent Misconduct in Prison: Examining an Alternative Form of Restrictive Housing, __ INT’L J. OFFENDER
THERAPY & COMP. CRIMINOLOGY 1, 1 (2018). The article described its focus as “the future behavioral and mental
health outcomes associated with completing an alternative approach to restrictive housing in the Arizona Department
of Corrections.” Id.
Other efforts to study the impact of changes were reported to be underway in Nebraska (reporting that it had
redesigned its “housing data system” to be able to track individuals and what happened to them); Nevada (a study of
“length of stay in prison due to a reduction in credits forfeited”); and Washington (indicating that it had “started to
evaluate the effectiveness of congregate classroom programming within restricted housing”).
223

That jurisdiction was Utah.

The question was open-ended: “In an ideal situation (i.e., if you had the necessary resources, and if you could do
so consistent with institutional safety), what number of hours out-of-cell do you believe is desirable for prisoners?”
The question did not direct jurisdictions to respond in hours per day or hours per week; nor did it ask about the ways
in which time out-of-cell should be spent. Answers therefore varied, with some jurisdictions measuring time in hours
per day and others in hours per week, and with some jurisdictions providing information on the way in which they
believed prisoners should spend time out-of-cell.
224

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225

The jurisdictions that responded to this question were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut,
Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
226

The jurisdictions that specified a certain number of hours were Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware,
Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri,
Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
227

Some of the jurisdictions that provided a certain number of hours did not specify whether this was measured as
hours per day or hours per week, and the measurement could not be determined from the answer. The jurisdictions for
which the measurement was unclear were Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico,
Texas, and Wyoming.
228

That jurisdiction was Pennsylvania, which responded that, at a minimum, three hours per day would be desirable.

229

Those jurisdictions were North Carolina and Idaho. North Carolina responded 15–16 hours per day would be
desirable. Idaho responded 16 hours per day would be desirable.
That jurisdiction, Arizona, specified a three-step system: “Step 1 = 7.5 hours, Step 2 = 8.5 hours, and Step 3 = 9.5
hours per week. Inmates classified as SMI minimally offered 20 hours in out of cell time per week.”
230

231

That jurisdiction was Illinois.

232

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Arizona, and Maryland.

That jurisdiction was Maryland, which stated: “General Population–minimum of 12 hours daily; Disciplinary
Segregation–2 hours daily; Administrative Segregation–minimum of 3 hours daily; Maximum Security General
Population–minimum of 8 hours daily.”
233

234

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York,
North Carolina, and North Dakota.
235

That jurisdiction was Minnesota.

236

That jurisdiction was Nevada.

237

That jurisdiction was Nevada.

This response came from New York, which further explained: “The most desirable program would consist of 2
hours AM programming, 2 hours PM programming and an additional 2 hours exercise, with an incentive-based option
to earn more and/or congregate recreation. This has worked well for us in our current SHU Alternative and Mental
Health programs.”
238

239

Those jurisdictions were Colorado, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, and South Dakota.

That jurisdiction was Ohio. In response to this question, South Dakota stated that “the amount of out of cell time
considered ideal varies by custody levels, housing type and arrangement, work and programming, and other out of
cell activities so it is not possible for us to respond to this question.”
240

For example, the Vera Institute of Justice, with the “support of the National Institute of Justice, and in collaboration
with the University of North Carolina School of Social Work and Oregon Health and Science University” has
241

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undertaken a multi-year study in prisons in Oregon, North Carolina, and Missouri to “assess the impact of working in
restrictive housing on correctional officers’ mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.” See
https://www.vera.org/projects/restrictive-housing-impact-officer-wellbeing/overview.
Vera also has a “Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative,” and has worked on ways to reduce the use of
segregation at “16 jurisdictions in total.” See https://www.safealternativestosegregation.org/. As of the spring of 2018,
Vera had projects in Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, and Virginia. Vera reported reductions in populations in
restrictive housing in several sites, including over 85% in New York City; about 50% in Middlesex County, NJ; 27%
in North Carolina; and 11% in Nebraska. See https://www.vera.org/rethinking-restrictive-housing#where-are-theynow.
242

Thirty jurisdictions reported tracking in 2013 the numbers of individuals released directly to the community.
Among those jurisdictions reporting, 4,400 people were released from administrative segregation to their
communities. ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION 2014, supra note 6, at 29. See also Christie Thompson,
From Solitary to the Street: What Happens when Prisoners Go from Complete Isolation to Complete Freedom in a
Day?, THE MARSHALL PROJECT, June 11, 2015, available at https://www.themarshallproject.org/ 2015/06/11/fromsolitary-to-the-street.
243

VERA RETHINKING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING 2018, supra note 27, at 10. Reports on the Findings and
Recommendations specific to each site are available at https://www.vera.org /publications/safe-alternativessegregation-initiative-findings-recommendations. Vera is currently working with additional states including
Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, and Virginia.
244

ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION NATIONAL OVERVIEW 2013, supra note 3.

245

Id. at 4–5, 11.

246

ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION 2014, supra note 6; ASCA-LIMAN AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-INCELL 2016, supra note 13.
247

VERA RETHINKING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING 2018, supra note 27, at 14.

248

Id. at 15

249

Id. at 17.

250

Id. at 18–19.

251

Id. at 21.

252

See ASCA-LIMAN AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-IN-CELL 2016, supra note 13, at 49. Among 34 jurisdictions providing
data in 2016, 5,146 male prisoners with serious mental health issues were held in restrictive housing, and among 32
jurisdictions providing data on female prisoners in 2016, 297 female prisoners with serious mental health issues were
held in restrictive housing. See also Section II, Subpopulations, Prisoners with Mental Health Issues.
253

See Section II, The Demographics of Restrictive Housing, Race and Ethnicity. As noted there, among the 34
reporting jurisdictions, Black male prisoners comprised 45.7% of the restrictive housing populations and 42.3% of the
total male custodial population. In 29 of the 34 jurisdictions, the male restrictive housing population contained a
smaller percentage of White prisoners than in the total male custodial population. Among the 29 jurisdictions reporting
numbers on women, Black female prisoners comprised 38.6% of the restrictive housing population and 22.6% of the
total custodial population. In 21 of the 29 jurisdictions, the female restrictive housing population contained a smaller
percentage of White prisoners than the total female custodial population.
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254

VERA RETHINKING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING 2018, supra note 27, at 23.

255

Id. at 24.

256

Id. at 25.

257

Thirty jurisdictions reported that 4,400 people were released from administrative segregation directly to their
communities. ASCA-LIMAN ADMINISTRATIVE SEGREGATION 2014, supra note 6, at 29.
258

Vera identified 348 people in Oregon and 1,892 people in North Carolina released from restrictive housing directly
to the community. VERA RETHINKING RESTRICTIVE HOUSING 2018, supra note 27, at 28.
259

Id. at 28–29.

260

Id. at 8.

261

Id. at 29.

262

Id. at 30.

263

Id. at 34.

264

Id. at 38–39.

265

60 Minutes, Reforming Solitary Confinement at an Infamous California Prison, Jul. 22, 2018,
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-reforming-solitary-confinement-at-an-infamous-california-prison/.
266

Cheryl Corley, North Dakota Prison Officials Think Outside the Box to Revamp Solitary Confinement, Morning
Edition, NPR, Jul. 31 2018, available at https://www.npr.org/2018/07/31/630602624/north-dakota-prison-officialsthink-outside-the-box-to-revamp-solitary-confineme.
Dashka Slater, North Dakota’s Norway Experiment: Can Humane Prisons Work in America? A Red State Aims to
Find Out, Mother Jones, July/Aug. 2017, available at https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2017/07/northdakota-norway-prisons-experiment/.
267

268

Rick Raemisch, Why We Ended Long-Term Solitary Confinement in Colorado, New York Times, Oct. 12 2017,
available at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/12/opinion/solitary-confinement-colorado-prison.html.
269

Oregon Prisons Cut Use of Solitary Confinement, KTVZ.COM, available at https://www.ktvz.com/news/oregonprisons-cut-use-of-solitary-confinement/746191882.
270

Keri Blakinger, Texas Prisons Eliminate Use of Solitary Confinement for Punitive Reasons, Houston Chronicle,
Sep. 21 2017, available at https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-prisonseliminate-use-of-solitary-12219437.php.
271

See Craig Haney, Restricting the Use of Solitary Confinement, 1 ANN. REV. CRIMINOLOGY 285, 298 (2018),
available at https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-criminol-032317-092326. In his view, the
“research consistently documents and details the risk of psychological harm that social isolation creates, including
mental pain and suffering and the increased incidence of self-harm and suicide.”
272

American Psychological Association, Letter to Senator Booker, June
https://www.apa.org/advocacy/criminal-justice/juvenile-solitary-confinement.pdf.

ASCA-Liman Restrictive Housing 2018 revised September 25 2018

8,

2017,

available

at

138

273

Cyrus Ahalt, Craig Haney, Sarah Rios, Matthew P. Fox, David Farabee & Brie Williams, Reducing the Use and
Impact of Solitary Confinement in Corrections, 13 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PRISONER HEALTH 41, 43 (2017)
(citing Carla M. Perissinotto, Irena Stijacic Cenzer & Kenneth E. Covinsky, Loneliness in Older Persons: A Predictor
of Functional Decline and Death, 172 ARCHIVES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, 1078–83 (2012); BRIE A. WILLIAMS, ANNA
CHANGE, CYRUS AHALT, HELEN CHEN, REBECCA CONANT, C. SETH LANDEFELD, CHRISTINE RITCHIE & MICHI
YUKAWA, CURRENT DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT: GERIATRICS, 2E (2014); Brie A. Williams, Older Prisoners and the
Physical Health Effects of Solitary Confinement, 106 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, 2126–2127 (2016)).
American Civil Liberties Union, Caged In: Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harm on People with Physical
Disabilities
(2017),
available
at
https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/010916-aclusolitarydisabilityreport-single.pdf.
274

275

Id. at 7, Table 1.

276

Id. at 12.

277

Id. at 10, 28–34, 35–39.

278

Id. at 4, 28–35.

279

Id. at 9.

280

42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.; 29 U.S.C. § 794.

281

See, e.g., Dunn v. Dunn, 318 F.R.D. 652 (M.D. Ala. 2016); Pierce v. District of Columbia, 128 F. Supp. 3d 250
(D.D.C. 2015).
282

American Psychiatric Association, Position Statement on Segregation of Prisoners with Mental Illness (2012),
available at http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/MH/Documents/2013_04_AC_06c_APA_ps2012_PrizSeg.pdf.
283

COMMITTEE ON CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF HIGH RATES OF INCARCERATION, THE GROWTH OF
INCARCERATION IN THE UNITED STATES: EXPLORING CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES 201 (Jeremy Travis, Bruce
Western, and Steve Redburn eds.) (2014).
284

See National Commission Correctional Health Care, Position Statement, Solitary Confinement (Isolation), adopted
April 2016, available at https://www.ncchc.org/filebin/Positions/Solitary-Confinement-Isolation.pdf.
285

Id. at 4, principle 1.

286

Id. at 4, principle 3.

287

Id. at 4, principle 5.

288

Id. at 4, principle 9.

289

Id. at 5, principle 15.

290

Robert Morgan, Paul Gendreau, Paula Smith, Andrew Gray, Ryan Labrecque, Nina MacLean, Stephanie Van Horn,
Angelea Bolanos, Ashley Batastini & Jeremy Mills, Quantitative Synthesis of the Effects of Administrative
Segregation on Inmates’ Well-Being, 22 PSYCHOLOGY, PUBLIC POLICY, AND LAW 439, 455 (2016). A central reference
in this essay was a study, O’Keefe, Maureen, Kelli Klebe, Alysha Stucker, Kristin Sturm & William Leggett, One
Year Longitudinal Study of the Psychological Effects of Administrative Segregation, Final Report to the National
Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice (2010).
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291

See Craig Haney, The Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement: A Systemic Critique, 47 CRIME AND JUSTICE
365, 399–402 (2018). This essay noted that the 2016 discussion, which described doing a synthesis, did not include a
fair representation of studies finding that solitary confinement caused serious psychological harms.
292

Id. at 402–07.

293

Id. at 378–98.

294

Id. at 372.

295

Terry Kupers, The SHU-Post Release Syndrome: A Preliminary Report, 17 CORRECTIONAL MENTAL HEALTH
REPORT 81 (2016), available at https://www.civicresearchinstitute.com/online/article_abstract.php?pid=14
&iid=1172&aid=7652. See generally TERRY ALLEN KUPERS, SOLITARY: THE INSIDE STORY OF SUPERMAX ISOLATION
AND HOW WE CAN ABOLISH IT (2017). These findings parallel those of a 2018 report, Human Rights in Trauma Mental
Health Lab, Stanford University, Mental Health Consequences Following Release from Long-Term Solitary
Confinement in California, available at https://handacenter.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/
mental_health_consequences_following_release_from_long-term_solitary_confinement_in_california.pdf
[hereinafter Mental Health Consequences in California]. This study concerned the mental health consequences of
long-term solitary confinement, and was conducted by Stanford University’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health
Laboratory, working at the behest of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented a class of California
prisoners held in isolation. See Ashker v. The Governor of California, 09-CV-05796-CW (N.D. Cal. 2009). After
interviewing individuals, the Lab concluded that the men “experienced severe psychological disturbances with lasting
detrimental consequences,” with the most common responses to isolation being “emotional numbing and
desensitization,” which continued “to be problematic for prisoners following the transition to the general population.”
Mental Health Consequences in California at 2.
296

Research in animals has raised concerns that isolation results in brain wave and behavioral changes. See Huda Akil,
Panel on Solitary Confinement: Legal, Clinical, and Neurobiological Perspectives, American Association for the
Advancement of Science 2014 Annual Meeting, Feb. 14, 2014, https://thinkprogress.org/solitary-confinement- maydramatically-alter-brain-shape-in-just-days-neuroscientist-says-ae939f8e7685/. See also Michael Zigmond & Richard
Jay Smeyne, Neurobiological Effects of Isolation: Historical and Current Perspectives, in Solitary Confinement:
Effects, Practices and Pathways Towards Reform (Jules Lobel & Peter Scharff Smith eds., Oxford University Press,
forthcoming 2018).
297

Fatos Kaba, Andrea Lewis, Sarah Glowa-Kollisch, James Hadler, David Lee, Howard Alper, Daniel Selling, Ross
MacDonald, Angela Solimo, Amanda Parsons & Homer Venters, Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among
Jail Inmates, 104 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 442 (2014).
298

Brian O. Hagan, Emily A. Wang, Jenerius A. Aminawung, Carmen E. Albizu-Garcia, Nickolas Zaller, Sylviah
Nyamu, Shira Shavit, Joseph Deluca & Aaron D. Fox, History of Solitary Confinement Is Associated with PostTraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms among Individuals Recently Released from Prison, 95 JOURNAL OF URBAN
HEALTH 141 (2018).
299

Valerie Clark & Grant Duwe, The Effects of Restrictive Housing on Recidivism, Minnesota Department of
Corrections, December 2017, available at https://mn.gov/doc/assets/Effects%20of%20Restrictive%20Housing%
20on%20Recidivism_tcm1089-320093.pdf.
300

Id. at 10.

301

Id. at 4.

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302

Id.

303

Id. at 23. Minnesota reported that the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA) awarded the study its
Excellence in Research/Policy Award in 2018.
See 2017 Hawaii Senate Bill No. 2859, Hawaii Twenty-Ninth Legislature – Regular Session of 2018 [hereinafter
Hawaii Senate Bill 2859]. Section 1(b)(2) of the bill would require that “on every third day, or sooner, following initial
placement in administrative segregation, the facility program committee shall hold a hearing to determine if continued
placement in administrative segregation is warranted.” Section § 1(c)(2) would require that “on every tenth day, or
sooner, of disciplinary segregation, an adjustment committee shall hold a hearing and any recommendations to extend
the disciplinary segregation shall be approved by the institutions division administrator, medical director, and staff
psychiatrist.” See also 2018 New Jersey Assembly Bill No. 314, New Jersey Two Hundred Eighteenth Legislature –
First Annual Session [hereinafter New Jersey Assembly Bill 314]. Section 4a(4) of the bill would require that, with
exceptions for lockdown, “an inmate shall only be held in isolated confinement pursuant to initial procedures and
reviews which provide timely, fair and meaningful opportunities for the inmate to contest the confinement. These
procedures shall include the right to an initial hearing within 72 hours of placement and a review every 15 days
thereafter, in the absence of exceptional circumstances, unavoidable delays, or reasonable postponements; the right to
appear at the hearing; the right to be represented at the hearing; an independent hearing officer; and a written statement
of reasons for the decision made at the hearing.” See also 2018 Virginia House Bill No. 795, Virginia 2018 Regular
Session [hereinafter Virginia House Bill 795]. Section 53.1-39.1(F) of the bill would provide that “the Department
shall create an administrative process by which an inmate may contest his isolated confinement within 72 hours of
being placed in isolated confinement. The process shall include a hearing before an independent hearing officer. The
inmate shall have the right to appear at the hearing, present evidence, and be represented by counsel.”
304

See, e.g., 2017 Nebraska Legislative Bill No. 560, Nebraska One Hundred Fifth Legislature – First Regular Session
[hereinafter Nebraska Legislative Bill 560]. Section Four of the bill would provide that:
305

The director shall issue an annual report on or before September 15 to the Governor and the Clerk of the
Legislature . . . . For all inmates who were held in restrictive housing during the prior year, the report shall
contain the race, gender, age, and length of time each inmate has continuously been held in restrictive housing.
The report shall also contain: (a) The number of inmates held in restrictive housing; (b) The reason or reasons
each inmate was held in restrictive housing; (c) The number of inmates held in restrictive housing who have
been diagnosed with a mental illness or behavioral disorder and the type of mental illness or behavioral
disorder by inmate; (d) The number of inmates who were released from restrictive housing directly to parole
or into the general public and the reason for such release; (e) The number of inmates who were released from
restrictive housing based upon an order of a district judge under subsection (2) of section 83-173.03; (f) The
number of inmates who were placed in restrictive housing for his or her own safety and the underlying
circumstances for each placement; (g) To the extent reasonably ascertainable, comparable statistics for the
nation and each of the states that border Nebraska pertaining to subdivisions (4)(a) through (f) of this section;
and (h) The mean and median length of time for all inmates held in restrictive housing.
See also New Jersey Assembly Bill 314, supra note 304. Section 7(e) would
Requir[e] posting on the official website of the Department of Corrections of quarterly reports on the use of
isolated confinement, by age, sex, gender identity, ethnicity, incidence of mental illness, and type of
confinement status, at each facility, including a county correctional facility; these reports shall include the
population on the last day of each quarter and a non-duplicative cumulative count of people exposed to
isolated confinement for each fiscal year. These inmate reports also shall include the incidence of emergency
confinement, self-harm, suicide, and assault in any isolated confinement unit, as well as explanations for each
instance of facility-wide lockdown.
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See also 2017 New York Senate Bill No. 4784, New York Two Hundred Fortieth Legislative Session [hereinafter
New York Senate Bill 4784]. Section 4(n) would require that:
The department shall make publicly available monthly reports of the number of people as of the first day of
each month, and semi-annual and annual cumulative reports of the total number of people, who are (i) in
segregated confinement; and (ii) in residential rehabilitation units; along with a breakdown of the number of
people (iii) in segregated confinement and (iv) in residential rehabilitation units by (A) age; (B) race; (C)
gender; (D) mental health level; (E) health status; (F) drug addiction status; (G) pregnancy status; (H) lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex status; and (I) total continuous length of stay, and total length of stay
in the past sixty days, in segregated confinement or a residential rehabilitation unit.
The New York legislature passed the bill, which is awaiting signature by the governor. See also Virginia House Bill
795, supra note 304. Section 53.1-39.1 (H) would require that:
The Department shall report to the Governor and the General Assembly on or before June 30 and December
31 of each year the following information: 1. The total prison population; 2. The number of inmates who
have been placed in isolated confinement and the age, sex, gender identity, and ethnicity of such inmates; 3.
The number of inmates who are a member of a vulnerable population who have been placed in isolated
confinement and the category of vulnerable population of such inmates; 4. The average length and median
length of isolated confinement for (i) inmates placed in isolated confinement and (ii) inmates who are a
member of a vulnerable population who have been placed in isolated confinement, calculated for each
category of vulnerable population; 5. The number of inmates who have been placed in isolated confinement
who have attempted to harm themselves or others; and 6. The number of inmates who have been placed in
isolated confinement who have been released from the correctional facility while placed in isolated
confinement.
306

CRIMES AND OFFENSES, 2018 Mass. Legis. Serv. Ch. 69 (S.B. 2371) [hereinafter CRIMES AND OFFENSES].

New York Senate Bill 4784, supra note 305, § 4(h) would prohibit holding any person “in
segregated confinement for longer than necessary and never more than fifteen consecutive days nor twenty total days
within any sixty day period. At these limits, persons must be released from segregated confinement or diverted to a
separate secure residential rehabilitation unit.” Section 4(j)(iv) provides “No person may be held in segregated
confinement for protective custody.”
307

Hawaii Senate Bill 2859, supra note 304. One facet of the proposal would limit the “the maximum length of time”
a prisoner could be held in administrative segregation to no more than 14 days in any 30 day period. Id. at § 1(b)(1).
Another provision would limit placement in disciplinary segregation to no more than 60 days in 180. Id. at § 1(c)(1).
Both provisions would require oversight with hearings, for administrative segregation on every third day, and for
disciplinary segregation, on every tenth day. Id. at § 1(b)(2), § 1(c)(2). Extensions of time for disciplinary segregation
would require approval by “the institutions division administrator, medical director, and staff psychiatrist.” Id. at §
1(c)(1).
308

Nebraska Legislative Bill 560, supra note 305, § 4(3) provides that “no person shall be placed in solitary
confinement,” which is defined as confinement to cell for an average of 22 or more hours per day. Section 3(1) limits
the use of restrictive housing, defined as confinement that provides limited contact with other offenders, strictly
controlled movement while out-of-cell, and out-of-cell time less than 24 hours per week, such that “no inmate shall
be held in restrictive housing unless done in the least restrictive manner consistent with maintaining order in the
facility and pursuant to rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the department pursuant to the
Administrative Procedure Act.” Section 2(2) would provide for a review process by the district court for any prisoner
placed in restrictive housing for 90 days. The bill is set to be reintroduced in 2019.
309

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New Jersey Assembly Bill 314, supra note 304, places limitations on the use of “isolated confinement,” defined as
“confinement of an inmate in a correctional facility, pursuant to disciplinary, administrative, protective, investigative,
medical, or other classification, in a cell or similarly confined holding or living space, alone or with other inmates, for
approximately 20 hours or more per day with severely restricted activity, movement, and social interaction.” Section
4.a(1) provides that “an inmate shall not be placed in isolated confinement unless there is reasonable cause to believe
that the inmate would create a substantial risk of immediate serious harm to himself or another, as evidenced by recent
threats or conduct, and a less restrictive intervention would be insufficient to reduce this risk.” Section 4.a (2) prohibits
placing a prisoner “in isolated confinement for non-disciplinary reasons,” with exceptions for facility-wide lockdowns,
emergency confinement, medical isolation, and protective custody.
310

Virginia House Bill 795, supra note 304, § 53.1-39.1(A) defines isolated confinement as “confinement of an inmate
to his cell for more than 20 hours per day” and § 53.1-39.1(B) provides that “an inmate who is not a member of a
vulnerable population shall not be placed in isolated confinement for longer than 15 consecutive days or in excess of
20 days in any 60-day period.” Section 53.1-39.1(F) requires the Department of Corrections to “create an
administrative process by which an inmate may contest his isolated confinement within 72 hours of being placed in
confinement,” and Section 53.1-39.1(D) requires a “comprehensive medical and mental health evaluation conducted
by a medical professional within 12 hours of confinement.”
311

312

2017 U.S. Congress S. 2724, 115th CONGRESS, 2nd Session.

313

CRIMES AND OFFENSES, supra note 306, at § 93f.

314

Id. at § 39A(b).

315

Id. at § 39A(b).

Id. at § 39B: “(a) All prisoners confined to restrictive housing shall receive placement reviews at the following
intervals, and may receive them more frequently, if a prisoner: (i) is being confined to restrictive housing pursuant to
subsection (a) of section 39A, every 72 hours; (ii) is being confined to restrictive housing pursuant to subsection (b)
of section 39A, every 72 hours; (iii) is awaiting adjudication of an alleged disciplinary breach, every 15 days;(iv) has
been committed to disciplinary restrictive housing, not later than 6 months and every 90 days thereafter; and (v) is
being held for any other reason, every 90 days.”
316

The committee is to include “the secretary of the executive office of public safety and security or a designee, who
shall serve as chair; the commissioner of the department of correction or a designee; the commissioner of mental
health or a designee; and 9 members to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a correctional administrator
with expertise in prison discipline or prison programming, 1 of whom shall be a member of a correctional officers
union, 1 of whom shall have significant and demonstrated experience in criminal justice or corrections policy research;
1 of whom shall be the president of Massachusetts Sheriffs Association, Inc. or a designee, 1 of whom shall be a
former judge designated by the chief justice of the supreme judicial court, 1 of whom shall be the executive director
of Disability Law Center, Inc. or a designee, 1 of whom shall be the executive director of Prisoners’ Legal Services
or a designee, 1 of whom shall be the executive director of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, Inc. or
a designee and 1 of whom shall be a licensed social worker designated by the Massachusetts chapter of the National
Association of Social Workers, Inc.” Id. at § 39G.
317

Id. at § 39D: “(a) The commissioner shall publish monthly and provide directly to the restrictive housing oversight
committee the number of prisoners held in each restrictive housing unit within each state and county correctional
facility. (b) The commissioner shall publish a report quarterly and provide directly to the restrictive housing oversight
committee, as to each restrictive housing unit within each state correctional facility, and annually, as to each restrictive
housing unit within each county correctional facility: (i) the number of prisoners as to whom a finding of serious
mental illness has been made and the number of such prisoners held for more than 30 days; (ii) the number of prisoners
318

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who have committed suicide or committed non-lethal acts of self-harm; (iii) the number of prisoners according to the
reason for their restrictive housing; (iv) as to prisoners in disciplinary restrictive housing, a listing of prisoners with
names redacted, including an anonymized identification number that shall be consistent across reports, age, race,
gender and ethnicity, whether the prisoner has an open mental health case, the date of the prisoner’s commitment to
discipline, the length of the prisoner’s term and a summary of the reason for the prisoner’s commitment; (v) the number
of placement reviews conducted pursuant to clause (iv) and (v) of subsection (a) of section 39B and the number of
prisoners released from restrictive housing as a result of such placement reviews; (vi) the length of original assignment
to and total time served in disciplinary restrictive housing for each prisoner released from disciplinary restrictive
housing as a result of a placement review; (vii) the count of prisoners released to the community directly or within 30
days of release from restrictive housing; (viii) the known disabilities of every prisoner who was placed in restrictive
housing during the previous 3 months; (ix) the number of mental health professionals who work directly with prisoners
in restrictive housing; (x) the number of transfers to outside hospitals directly from restrictive housing; and (xi) such
additional information as the commissioner may determine. (c) The committee shall gather information regarding the
use of restrictive housing in correctional institutions to determine the impact of restrictive housing on inmates, rates
of violence, recidivism, incarceration costs and self-harm within correctional institutions.”
319

Id. at § 39E.

Id. at § 39A(c): “The fact that a prisoner is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex or has a gender
identity or expression or sexual orientation uncommon in general population shall not be grounds for placement in
restrictive housing.”
320

321

Id. at § 39A(d): “A pregnant inmate shall not be placed in restrictive housing.”

Hawaii Senate Bill 2859, supra note 304, at § 1(d) would prohibit placement of a member of a “vulnerable
population” in restrictive housing unless all other less restrictive means of intervention have been attempted and only
after a mental and physical exam. New Jersey Assembly Bill 314, supra note 304, § 3 would limit placement of
members of “vulnerable population” in restrictive housing. New York Senate Bill 4784, supra note 305, § 4(g) would
prohibit placement in restrictive housing of person in a “special population.” The New York legislature passed the
bill, which is awaiting signature by the governor. Virginia House Bill 795, supra note 304, § 53.1-39.1 (B) would
prohibit, with some exceptions, placement of a member of a “vulnerable population” in restrictive housing.
322

See e.g., Cal Welf. & Inst. Code § 208.3 (West), which states: “Room confinement means the placement of a minor
or ward in a locked sleeping room or cell with minimal or no contact with persons other than correctional facility staff
and attorneys. Room confinement does not include confinement of a minor or ward in a single-person room or cell for
brief periods of locked room confinement necessary for required institutional operations.”; Neb. Rev. Stat. § 83-4,125,
which states: “Room confinement means the involuntary restriction of a juvenile to a cell, room, or other area, alone,
including a juvenile’s own room, except during normal sleeping hours.”
323

324

Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code § 208.3(b)(2).

325

Id. at § 208.3(b)(1).

326

Id. at § 208.3(c), (d).

327

Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 26-20–104.5 (West).

328

Comprehensive Youth Justice Amendment Act of 2016, 2017 District of Columbia Law 21-238 § 203(e). The Act
provided:

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Except for room confinement occurring under subsection (c) of this section, room confinement shall be used
for the briefest period of time possible and not for a time to exceed 6 hours. After 6 hours, the youth shall be
returned to the general population, transported to a mental health facility upon the recommendation of a
mental health professional, transferred to the medical unit in the facility, or provided special individualized
programming.
329

Id. at § 203(a).

330

Tennessee Public Chapter No. 1052, House Bill No. 2271, Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2018 § 13. The Act
provided that the “use of seclusion for punitive purposes pre-adjudication or post-adjudication for any child detained
in any facility pursuant to § 37-1-114 is prohibited.”
331

Nebraska Legislative Bill 870, supra note 305, at § 2(5).

332

Id. at § 2(a).

2018 Connecticut House Bill No. 5041 § 33(e), Connecticut General Assembly – February Session, 2018. The bill
would require that “no child shall at any time be held in solitary confinement or held for a period that exceeds six
hours.”
333

334

Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 17-1-113.8 (West).

335

CRIMES AND OFFENSES, supra

note 306, at § 39A(a). The law provided:

A prisoner shall not be held in restrictive housing if the prisoner has a serious mental illness or a finding has
been made, pursuant to subsections (c) or (d) of section 39 or otherwise, that restrictive housing is clinically
contraindicated unless, not later than 72 hours after the finding, the commissioner, the sheriff or a designee
of the commissioner or sheriff certifies in writing: (i) the reason why the prisoner may not be safely held in
the general population; (ii) that there is no available placement in a secure treatment unit; (iii) that efforts are
being undertaken to find appropriate housing and the status of the efforts; and (iv) the anticipated time frame
for resolution. A copy of the written certification shall be provided to the prisoner. A prisoner in restrictive
housing shall be offered additional mental health treatment in accordance with clinical standards adopted by
the department of correction.
336

Braggs v. Dunn, 257 F. Supp. 3d 1171 (M.D. Ala. 2017).

Braggs v. Dunn, 317 F.R.D. 634, 673–74 (M.D. Ala. 2016). Excluded were those at “work release centers and
Tutwiler Prison for Women.” A co-plaintiff, the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program (ADAP), which is a
designated protection agency under federal law, pursued claims on behalf of women at Tutwiler. See Braggs v. Dunn,
257 F. Supp. 3d at 1181.
337

338

Braggs v. Dunn, 257 F. Supp. 3d at 1181.

339

Id. at 1184–85.

340

Id. at 1185–86. Two people committed suicide during the course of the trial, including one of the named plaintiffs
who testified in the case. Id.
Id. at 1267–68. The standard comes from Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976), which held that “deliberate
indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain proscribed
by the Eighth Amendment” (internal citations and quotation marks omitted).
341

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342

Braggs v. Dunn, 257 F. Supp. 3d at 1268.

343

See Braggs v. Dunn, 2018 WL 985759 (M.D. Ala. Feb 20, 2018); Braggs v. Dunn, 2018 WL 2057467 (M.D. Ala.
Mar 30, 2018); Braggs v. Dunn, 2018 WL 1805594 (M.D. Ala. Apr 9 2018); Braggs v. Dunn, 2018 WL 2168705
(M.D. Ala. Apr. 25, 2018); Braggs v. Dunn, 2018 WL 2440287 (M.D. Ala. Apr. 25, 2018).
344

See South Carolina Department of Corrections, Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities, Inc., SCDC,
Mental Health Advocates Reach Historic Agreement, June 1, 2016, available at http://www.pandasc.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/06/PA-and-SCDC-Press-Release-6-1-16.pdf.
345

T.R., et al. v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, 2005-CP-40-02925 (S.C. Com. Pl. Oct. 6, 2011), Fifth
Amended Complaint, p. 21, available at https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/PC-SC-0006-0001.pdf.
346

Id. at 16–17.

347

Id. at 18.

348

Id., Order Granting Judgment in Favor of Plaintiffs, Jan. 8, 2014, p. 3, 5, available at
https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/PC-SC-0006-0006.pdf.
349

Id. at 6.

350

T.R. v. South Carolina Department of Corrections, Appellate Case No. 2014-001080 (S.C. Dec. 14, 2016), Order
Dismissing Appeal.
351

Id., Settlement Agreement, available at http://www.pandasc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/ SettlementAgreement-May-31-2016.pdf. See also South Carolina Department of Corrections; Protection & Advocacy for People
with Disabilities, Inc.; SCDC, Mental Health Advocates Reach Historic Agreement, June 1, 2016, available at
http://www.pandasc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/PA-and-SCDC-Press-Release-6-1-16.pdf.
352

South Carolina elaborated on the Behavioral Management Unit policy:
The Behavioral Management Units (BMUs) are designed as a possible alternative to long-term segregation
placement for inmates designated as having a mental health classification who are suffering from severe
personality disorders and associated disruptive disorders. BMUs are therapeutic programs aimed to disrupt
the cycle of repeated disciplinary infractions resulting in frequent, repetitive sanctions that result in longterm segregation placement. The goal of placement in BMUs is to assist inmates in achieving their highest
level of functionality by developing alternative coping skills that result in behavioral stability sufficient to
return safely to general population. In some cases, the goal will be preparation for re-entry to the community
at the expiration of their sentence.

The prison system further explained that it planned “to open a specially designed yard” for prisoners in restrictive
housing “due to their safety concerns.” South Carolina described the plan:
The focus will be segregation reduction and re-entry preparation for general population and society. Inmates
will be screened for participation using specific criteria and a contract will require disagreements to be
resolved through a community meeting or small staff/inmate forum. The program will consist of reception
phases to introduce the program, functions, and expectations to incoming inmates. Upon completion of the
reception requirements, inmates will be placed in housing units. Each inmate will be assigned a job function
within the housing unit aimed at assuming responsibility and learning acceptable work habits. One program
to be offered is designed to work with inmates fearful of general population environments with the goal of
returning them to a yard as well as preparing them for re-entry into society. The program will determine the
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reason for maladapted behavior or refusal to be housed in general population, develop a specific management
plan, and thereafter move inmates to one of the therapeutic units.
South Carolina also noted that “an on-going RHU committee” was convening “a special session” to review prisoners
with “high mental health needs” in restrictive housing to determine whether restrictive housing placement “is correct
or whether the housing assignment should be adjusted.”
353

Roy Parker et al. v. City of New York, 15 CV 6733 (CLP) (E.D.N.Y. Settlement Dec. 2017) (Memorandum and
Order), available at https://cases.justia.com/federal/district-courts/new-york/nyedce/1:2015cv06733/378243/58/
0.pdf?ts=1517255506.
354

Id. They alleged that after having been placed in solitary confinement while serving one sentence, released from
custody, and then returned to custody on another charge, they were placed back in solitary confinement solely on the
basis of having been there previously. Id. at 2.
355

See Ashley Southall, City Agrees to Pay Rikers Inmates It Forced Back into Solitary Confinement, New York
Times (Dec. 12 2017), https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/12/nyregion/rikers-settlement-solitary-confinement.html.
356

Id.

357

C.S., et al., v. King County, 2:17-CV-01560-JCC (W.D. Wa. 2017), Order, available at
http://www.columbialegal.org/sites/default/files/KingCounty-OrderGrantingMotionforDismissal.pdf.
See
also
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/king-county-reaches-deal-to-ban-placing-jailed-juveniles-insolitary-confinement/.
358

Id., First Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief, available at http://www.columbialegal.org/
sites/default/files/17_1023_Complaint_CS-v-KingCounty.pdf.
359

Id., Exhibit A, available at
%20A _RedactedSM.pdf.

http://www.columbialegal.org/sites/default/files/KC_Isolation_24-1.%20Exhibit

360

Id.

361

Id.

362

Doe by & through Frazier v. Hommrich, No. 3-16-0799, 2017 WL 1091864, at *2 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 22, 2017).

Id. at *3. Thereafter, Tennessee enacted a law that defined seclusion as “the intentional, involuntary segregation of
an individual from the rest of the resident population for the purposes of preventing harm by the child to oneself or
others; preventing harm to the child by others; aiding in de-escalation of violent behavior; or serving clinically defined
reasons,” and prohibited the “use of seclusion for punitive purposes pre-adjudication or post-adjudication for any child
detained in any facility.” Tennessee Public Chapter No. 1052, House Bill No. 2271, Juvenile Justice Reform Act of
2018 § 13, signed into law by the governor on May 21, 2018.
363

364

V.W. v. Conway, 236 F. Supp. 3d 554, 583 (N.D.N.Y. Feb. 22, 2017). Plaintiffs in that case were supported by the
Department of Justice, which submitted a brief discussing the harms of solitary confinement for juveniles. Statement
of Interest of the United States, Jan. 3, 2017, available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/922386/download.
365

Id.

366

J.J. v. Litscher, No. 17-CV-47 (W.D. Wi. 2017), available at https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/JI-WI0004-0002.pdf.
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367

Id., Preliminary Injunction, available at https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/JI-WI-0004-0003.pdf.

368

2017 Wisconsin Act 1855. Laurel White, Walker Signs Law Closing Lincoln Hills Youth Prison, Wisconsin Public
Radio, Mar. 30, 2018, https://www.wpr.org/walker-signs-law-closing-lincoln-hills-youth-prison.
369

J.J. v. Litscher, No. 17-CV-47 (W.D. Wi. 2017), Stipulation for Consent Decree and Permanent Injunction,
available at https://jlc.org/sites/default/files/attachments/2018-06/2018.6.1%20Decl%20RTM%20in%20Supp.
%20Mo%20for%20Settlement%20Approval%20-%20Settl%20Agree.pdf.
370

Davis v. Ayala, 135 S. Ct. 2187, 2210 (2015) (Kennedy, J., concurring). Justice Thomas concurred specifically to
disagree, as he pointed to the harms that the prisoner had imposed by killing others. Id. at 2210 (Thomas, J.,
concurring).
371

Id. at 2209. Justice Kennedy stated that it was “as if a judge had no choice but to say:
‘In imposing this capital sentence, the court is well aware that during the many years you will serve in prison
before your execution, the penal system has a solitary confinement regime that will bring you to the edge of
madness, perhaps to madness itself.’”

372

Ruiz v. Texas, 137 S. Ct. 1246 (2017) (Breyer, J., dissenting). See also Glossip v.Gross, 135 S. Ct 2726, 2765
(2015) (Breyer, J. & Ginsburg, J., dissenting). In 2018, Justice Breyer reiterated the concern in another dissent from a
denial of certiorari. He commented that the death-sentenced prisoner had been incarcerated since 1977 and spent “most
of the time on death row living in isolated, squalid conditions.” Jordan v. Mississippi, 138 S.Ct. 2567, 2568 (2018)
(Breyer, J., dissenting) (citing petition for certiorari).
373

Nordstrom v. Ryan, CV-15-02176 (D. Ariz. 2015). See also https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/node/6824;
http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/condemned_to_death_and_solitary_confinement1. As a result of a
settlement reached in that case, the plaintiff and others with clear disciplinary records will be moved from solitary
confinement.
374

Lopez v. Brown, 4:15 CV 02725 (N.D. Ca 2015), available at https://www.clearinghouse.net/chDocs/public/PCCA-0071-0001.pdf. See also http://solitarywatch.com/2017/10/10/lawsuits-challenge-the-cruelty-of-decades-insolitary-confinement-on-death-row/. A settlement reached in this suit placed a five-year limit on placement in
restrictive housing on death row, and provided for more frequent placement reviews.
375

Davis et al. v. Jones et al., 3:17CV820J34PDB (M.D. Fl. 2017), available at https://www.venable.com/
files/upload/Complaint-David-v-Jones.pdf. On July 19, 2017, a group of nine death-row prisoners filed a class-action
lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections, and challenged its practice of automatically keeping death-row
prisoners in solitary confinement until the prisoners’ release or execution. Plaintiffs Mark Davis and others—whose
stays in solitary confinement range from four to thirty years and total over 150 years—asked the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida to hold the practice unconstitutional in violation of the Eighth Amendment
prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
376

Hamilton et al v. Vannoy et al, 3:17CV00194 (M.D. La. 2017), available at https://cardozo.yu.edu/sites/
default/files/Angola%20filed%5DNEW.pdf. In March 2017, prisoners on death row at Louisiana State Penitentiary
filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to change the prison’s policy of keeping all people sentenced to death in solitary
confinement for the duration of their time in prison. The complaint alleged that Marcus Hamilton and his co-plaintiffs
were in isolation “between twenty-five and thirty-one years.” Id. at para. 1. The case is pending, and a settlement
conference was set to take place in August 2018. Meanwhile, starting in May 2017, Louisiana began allowing deathrow prisoners to be let out of their cells together for four hours a day. See Julia O’Donoghue, Louisiana Tests Relaxed

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Restrictions on Death Row Inmates, The Times-Picayune, Oct. 25, 2017, https://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/
2017/10/louisiana_death_row_changes.html.
377

Reid et al. v. Wetzel, 1:18-CV-00176-JEJ (M.D. Pa 2018), available at https://www.aclupa.org/files/
6915/1691/6235/1_Complaint.pdf. On January 25, 2018, prisoners held on death row filed a lawsuit challenging
Pennsylvania’s practices, alleging that holding “death-sentenced prisoners in permanent, degrading, and inhuman
solitary confinement until their capital sentence is overturned, or they die by execution or natural causes.” Id. at 1.
Their complaint alleged that individuals had been held in solitary confinement “for between sixteen and twenty-seven
years.” Id. at 2.
378

Williams v. Sec’y Pennsylvania Dep’t of Corr., 848 F. 3d 549, 576 (3d Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Walker v.
Farnan, 138 S. Ct. 357 (2017), and cert. denied sub nom. Williams v. Wetzel, 138 S. Ct. 357 (2017).
379

JUDITH RESNIK, JOHANNA KALB, CELINA ALDAPE, RYAN COOPER, KATIE HAAS, APRIL HU, JESSICA HUNTER &
SHELLE SHIMIZU, THE ARTHUR LIMAN PUBLIC INTEREST PROGRAM AT YALE LAW SCHOOL, RETHINKING DEATH ROW:
VARIATIONS IN THE HOUSING OF INDIVIDUALS SENTENCED TO DEATH, July 2016, available at:
https://law.yale.edu/system/files/documents/pdf/Liman/deathrow_reportfinal.pdf.
380

Id. at Appendix A: Statutes, Administrative Regulations, and Case Law by Jurisdiction.

381

Id. at 9–10, 11–13, 14–16.

382

George Lombardi, Richard D. Sluder & Donald Wallace, Mainstreaming Death-Sentenced Inmates: The Missouri
Experience and its Legal Significance, 61 FEDERAL PROBATION 3 (1997).
383

Mark D. Cunningham, Thomas J. Reidy & Jon R. Sorenssen, Wasted Resources and Gratuitous Suffering: The
Failure of a Security Rationale for Death Row, 22 PSYCHOLOGY PUBLIC POLICY AND LAW 185 (2016).
384

Johnson v. Wetzel, 209 F. Supp. 3d 766, 770, 781 (M.D. Pa. 2016).

385

Id. at 776.

386

Id. at 781.

387

See generally SHARON SHALEV, A SOURCEBOOK ON SOLITARY CONFINEMENT, Mannheim Centre for Criminology,
London School of Economics and Political Science (Oct. 2008), available at http://solitaryconfinement.org/
sourcebook.
388

United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), U.N. ESC
Committee on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, 24th Sess., U.N. Doc. E/CN.15/2015/L.6/Rev.1 (May 22, 2015),
https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/GA-RESOLUTION/E_ebook.pdf [hereinafter Nelson
Mandela Rules].
389

Nelson Mandela Rules, supra note 388, Rule 44.

390

Id. at Rule 45.1.

391

Id. at Rule 45.2.

392

Id. at Rule 43.1.

393

Id. at Rule 45.2.

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394

See Corporation of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association v. Canada (Attorney General), 2017 ONSC 7491
(Dec. 18, 2017), available at https://ccla.org/cclanewsite/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Corp-of-the-Canadian-CivilLiberties-Association-v-HMQ-121117.pdf [hereinafter CCLA v. Canada], para. 272; British Columbia Civil Liberties
Association v. Canada (Attorney General), 2018 BCSC 62 (Jan. 17, 2018), available at
https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2018/2018bcsc62/2018bcsc62.html [hereinafter BCCLA v. Canada], para. 2.
395

CCLA v. Canada, supra note 394, at para. 272. In response to a suit brought by the Corporation of the Canadian
Association of Civil Liberties (CCLA), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that so-called “fifth working day
review” of a decision to place a prisoner in administrative segregation was insufficient. The court analyzed the claim
under Baker v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) [1999] 2 S.C.R. 817. The Baker decision listed five
factors affecting procedural fairness: the nature of the decision, and the process followed in making it; the nature of
the statutory scheme; the importance of the decision to the individual; the legitimate expectations of the person
challenging the decision; and the choices of procedure made by the agency. The court held that given that the
institutional head (akin to a warden) controls the decision to place, maintain, and release a prisoner from administrative
segregation—i.e. there is no independent review—“the decision to segregate is procedurally unfair.” Id. at para. 155.
This aspect of the decision relied on Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which provides, “Everyone has
the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with
the principles of fundamental justice.” Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, § 7, Part I of Constitution Act,
1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), 1982, c. 11.
396

CCLA v. Canada, supra note 394, at para. 87.

397

Id. at para. 89.

Id. at para. 230-232. Section 12 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides, “Everyone has the right not to be
subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.” Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, § 12, Part I
of Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), 1982, c. 11.
398

399

CCLA v. Canada, supra note 394, at paras. 212, 228.

400

Id. at para. 277. See also Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Legal Fight Against Solitary Confinement
Continues, Jan. 17, 2018, available at https://ccla.org/legal-fight-solitary-confinement-continues/.
401

BCCLA v. Canada, supra note 394, at para 2. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and the John
Howard Society of Canada brought the suit, alleging that laws authorizing administrative segregation are contrary to
the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and that these laws have a disproportionate impact on Aboriginal and
mentally ill prisoners Id. at para. 9.
402

Id. at para. 609.

Section 15 provides, “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection
and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national
or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.” Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,
§15, Part I of Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada Act 1982 (U.K.), 1982, c. 11. See BCCLA v.
Canada, supra note 394, at para. 2.
403

404

Id. at para. 609.

405

Id. at para. 247.

406

Id. at para. 533.

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407

Id. at para. 543.

Id. at para. 610. See also Anna Mehler Paperny, Canada’s Government Appeals Court Ruling on Solitary
Confinement, Reuters, Feb. 19, 2018, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-prison-solitary/canadasgovernment-appeals-court-ruling-on-solitary-confinement-idUSKCN1G321R.
408

409

Council of Europe, European Committee on Crime Problems, Updating the European Prison Rules: Analytical
Report, prepared by Professor Dirk Van Zyl Smit and Harvey Slade, (May 2, 2018), available at https://rm.coe.int/pcc-2018-4rev-e-memo-to-cdpc-updating-the-european-prison-rules-analy/16807c0eba.
410

Id. at 2.

411

Id. See European Commission for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Prisoners
CPT), Solitary Confinement of Prisoners, extract from the 21 st General Report of the CPT, published in 2011 at 2–6,
available at https://rm.coe.int/16806cccc6.
412

Id.

413

Council of Europe, Report to the German Government on the Visit to Germany Carried Out by the European
Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) from 25
November 2015 to 7 December 2015, available at https://rm.coe.int/168071803e.
414

Id. at 35.

415

Id. at 36. During its visit, the CPT found that ten individuals had been held in solitary confinement for security
reasons for more than one year, including one individual who had been subjected to solitary confinement for almost
20 years. Id.at 28.
Id. at 35. In response to the CPT’s report, the German government declined to make changes. It stated that instances
in which disciplinary solitary confinement was ordered for more than 14 days were “exceptional and extremely rare
cases to which the courts have never objected upon review.” Council of Europe, Response of the German Government
to the report of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment (CPT) on its visit to Germany from 25 November 2015 to 7 December 2015, p. 57, available at
https://rm.coe.int/response-of-the-german-government-to-the-report-of-the-european-commit/16807182d1.
The
government reported it did not believe that amendments to the relevant statutory provisions to limit the time in
segregation were necessary and that it would be “hard to get the large number of prisoners who abide by the prison
rules to understand why effective disciplinary sanctions are being abandoned.” Id. at 57–58.
416

Irish Penal Reform Trust, ‘Behind the Door’: Solitary Confinement in the Irish Penal System, available at
http://www.iprt.ie/files/Solitary_Confinement_web.pdf.
417

418

Id. at 6.

419

Id.

420

Id. at 8.

421

Id. at 8–9.

422

The 40 jurisdictions that provided numbers of prisoners in restrictive housing in both 2015 and 2017 were Alabama,
Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, FBOP, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey,
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New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Three jurisdictions (Arkansas, Nevada, and Rhode Island) responded to the survey in 2017 but not in 2015.
Eight jurisdictions (California, D.C., Florida, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Virginia)
responded in 2015 but not 2017.
423

We clarified the definition of restrictive housing in 2017–2018. In 2015–2016, the survey defined restrictive
housing as being in-cell for 22 hours or more for 15 continuous days or more; in 2017–2018, the survey defined
restrictive housing as being in cell for an average of 22 hours or more for 15 continuous days or more. See supra note
20.
424

The 29jurisdictions with decreases in the number of prisoners reported in restrictive housing were, in order of
number of prisoners: New York (decrease of 1,832); Texas (1,560); Illinois (1,334); FBOP (968); Georgia (680); Utah
(616); Tennessee (587); Alabama (547); Michigan (436); North Carolina (408); New Mexico (369); New Jersey (359);
Delaware (338); South Carolina (331); Nebraska (270); Pennsylvania (218); Colorado (207); Oklahoma (184); Kansas
(130); Idaho (94); Ohio (92); Iowa (80); Kentucky (79); Maryland (68); Wyoming (50); North Dakota (46); Wisconsin
(38); South Dakota (16); and Hawaii (10).
425

Together, New York, Texas, Illinois, FBOP, and Georgia accounted for a reduction of 6,374 prisoners in restrictive
housing from 2015 to 2017.
426

The 11 jurisdictions with increases in the number of prisoners reported in restrictive housing were, in order of
number of prisoners: Missouri (increase of 962); Mississippi (344); Oregon (308); Massachusetts (208); Connecticut
(200); Arizona (179); Indiana (120); Washington (113); Alaska (26); Montana (23); and Louisiana (20).
427

Those 28 jurisdictions, starting with the largest decrease in percentage points, were Utah (from 14.0% to 4.7%);
Delaware (from 8.8% to 0.8%); New Mexico (from 9.0% to 4.2%); Nebraska (from 11.0% to 6.3%); Tennessee (from
8.8% to 5.3%); New York (from 8.5% to 5.3%); Illinois (from 4.8% to 2.2%); North Dakota (from 3.0% to 0.4%);
Wyoming (from 6.2% to 3.8%); Alabama (from 5.7% to 4.0%); New Jersey (from 6.7% to 5.2%); South Carolina
(from 5.1% to 3.7%); Kansas (from 5.9% to 4.6%); Colorado (from 1.2% to 0.1%); Maryland (from 7.5% to 6.5%);
Georgia (from 6.8% to 5.8%); North Carolina (from 4.0% to 3.0%); Texas (from 3.9% to 2.9%); Iowa (from 3.0% to
2.0%); Kentucky (from 4.2% to 3.4%); Michigan (from 3.1% to 2.3%); Idaho (from 5.0% to 4.3%); South Dakota
(from 3.0% to 2.3%); Oklahoma (from 5.6% to 5.1%); Wisconsin (from 3.7% to 3.2%); Pennsylvania (from 3.4% to
3.2%); Ohio (from 2.7% to 2.6%); and Hawaii (from 0.5% to 0.4%).
428

That jurisdiction was Utah.

429

Those 12 jurisdictions, starting with the largest increase in percentage points, were Louisiana (from 14.5% to
19.0%); Mississippi (from 1.0% to 4.1%); Montana (from 3.5% to 6.4%); Missouri (from 6.3% to 9.0%);
Massachusetts (from 2.3% to 4.9%); Oregon (from 4.3% to 6.4%); Connecticut (from 0.8% to 2.3%); Alaska (from
(7.2% to 8.6%); Indiana (from 5.9% to 6.6%); Washington (from 1.7% to 2.3%); Arizona (from 6.0% to 6.5%); and
FBOP (from 4.7% to 5.2%).
430

That jurisdiction was Louisiana.

431

The number used for total custodial population in 2015 is the total custodial population about which the jurisdiction
had restrictive housing data. See ASCA-LIMAN AIMING TO REDUCE TIME-IN-CELL 2016, supra note 13, at 22.

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432

Those jurisdictions were Alabama, FBOP, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Nebraska,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and
Utah.
433

Those jurisdictions were Missouri and Washington.

434

As previously noted, we clarified the definition of restrictive housing in 2017–2018. In 2015–2016, the survey
defined restrictive housing as being in-cell for 22 hours or more for 15 continuous days or more; in 2017–2018, the
survey defined restrictive housing as being in cell for an average of 22 hours or more for 15 continuous days or more.
See supra note 20.
The 31 jurisdictions that provided numbers on length of stay in restrictive housing in both 2015 and 2017
were Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, FBOP, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin,
and Wyoming.
Five jurisdictions (Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Rhode Island) provided data on length of stay
in 2017 but not in 2015. Ten jurisdictions (California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Maryland,
Minnesota, Vermont, Virgin Islands, and Virginia) provided data in 2015 but not 2017.

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Appendix A: ASCA-Liman 2017–2018 Restrictive Housing Survey
In the fall of 2017 we sent a survey in to the corrections departments in all 50 states,
the District of Columbia, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and to four large
metropolitan jail systems. We corrected the survey in February 2018 to eliminate
errors in drafting. The survey reproduced below is a Word version of the full survey
distributed on the Qualtrics platform.

Q1.
As you know, ASCA and Yale’s Liman Center have an ongoing data collection project to
understand the use of restrictive housing in departments of corrections. The goal is to continue to
map changes by keeping data current. Further, since the last survey, the American Correctional
Association (ACA) has new standards for restrictive housing.
This brief questionnaire therefore gathers basic information about all forms of restrictive
housing so as to provide a national picture of the number of people in all forms of restrictive
housing, the length of their stay, policy reforms, and the impact of the ACA 2016 Standards. As
we did in the 2014 and 2015 surveys, we ask for responses to this survey. Thereafter, ASCA
members will receive a draft report of the analysis, and after we review the comments and
corrections, the report will be finalized for publication. Much of the survey repeats questions from
2015, to which almost all of the ASCA membership responded.
Instructions and Definitions
The questionnaire need not be filled out in one sitting. The Qualtrics platform automatically
saves your answers in your browser, so that you can return to the survey again at a later time, but
ONLY if you use the same computer for inputting the answers. Most questions can be answered
by checking boxes in a list; a few questions provide opportunities for open-ended responses. The
Qualtrics Program alerts users when numbers do not add up to the total. If your answers prompt
that flag, please recheck or explain the variations (such as subtotals not equaling the total). Because
we may have follow-up questions to clarify the information provided, please include the name,
contact information, and title for the person to whom such questions should be directed.
We ask first about all individuals in your jurisdiction’s correctional facilities, including
both sentenced prisoners and pre-trial detainees, as well as about whether you are reporting on
facilities operated state-wide, and/or by either local entities housing state prisoners at your behest,
or by private entities with whom your jurisdiction contracts. We also want to learn the numbers of
prisoners held outside your jurisdiction. That background enables us to understand the context for
the numbers provided on the facilities for which you have accessible data on the use of restrictive

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housing, on the numbers in restrictive housing, the length of stay, and demographics. A section is
also devoted to learning about policies and reforms.
Please answer all the questions with information about your jurisdiction that is current as
of on or about September 24, 2017, and indicate the date on which the data was collected. (For
example, some jurisdictions collect data on the first or the fifteenth of every month.)
Not all jurisdictions have information on all the questions. A general “not applicable” (N/A)
answer can be confusing. Therefore, we have set up the questionnaire to enable you to clarify if
your jurisdiction does not track the information at all, or the information is not available for other
reasons. In contrast, if your jurisdiction tracks information and has no prisoners under these
conditions, then answer with a “0.”
For the purposes of this questionnaire, the term “restrictive housing” refers to separating
prisoners from the general population and holding them in their cells for an average of 22 or more
hours per day, for 15 or more continuous days. The definition includes prisoners held both in single
cells and in double cells, if held for an average of 22 hours per day or more in a cell, for 15 or more
continuous days. Thus, the questionnaire aims to gather data on all forms of restrictive housing
populations, whether called administrative segregation, disciplinary segregation, protective
custody, intensive management, or otherwise categorized.
Also provided is an email address (ascalimansurvey@yale.edu) and a phone number (203436-3532) to use to let us know that you have questions and that you want a response for
clarification.
PLEASE COMPLETE AND RETURN THIS QUESTIONNAIRE BY MARCH 2.
THANK YOU.
Q2.
To facilitate your completion of this survey across multiple sessions, here is a PDF of this
survey for download (however, please be sure to enter your responses into this online form):
Q3. SECTION 1. Please indicate the jurisdiction for which you are filling out the survey and the
date on which data are regularly collected; if the data are collected only for this survey, please
indicate the last date on which you finished gathering the data to respond.

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If it is possible for your jurisdiction to report data as of September 24, 2017, this would be
appreciated in order to have consistency with other jurisdictions.

o Jurisdiction: ________________________________________________
o Data current as of (MM/DD/YYYY): ________________________________________
Q4. SECTION 2. Please indicate whether the following types of facilities are under the direct
control of your jurisdiction’s Department of Corrections (check all that apply). By control, the
survey means that your jurisdiction hires and supervises staff (even if some are through
subcontracts, such as health care services) and provides the governing rules and policies.

o Prisons
o Jails
o Juvenile facilities
o Mental health facilities
o Special facilities for death-sentenced prisoners
o Private prisons
o Immigration detention
o Other (please specify) ________________________________________________
Q5. Please provide the total custodial population for all facilities in your system as identified in
Question 4 above (for example, if you indicated in Question 4 that your system includes prisons,
jails, juvenile facilities, and mental health facilities, you would provide the total custodial
population for those four types of facilities).
________________________________________________________________
Q6. Does your jurisdiction have prisoners housed in privately contracted facilities?

o Yes
o No
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Q7. Does your jurisdiction regularly collect data on prisoners in privately contracted facilities?

o Yes
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q8. Does your jurisdiction contract with the federal government to provide housing for
immigration detention?

o Yes
o No
Q9. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to the above question. Does your jurisdiction keep data
on the population and the use of restrictive housing in these facilities?

o Yes
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q10. SECTION 2a. This survey focuses on data in your jurisdiction in facilities under your control.
We also want to understand the numbers of individuals not included to learn the size of the
population for which we will not have the kinds of information provided by answers to the
questions below.
Q11. Are there prisoners sentenced through the state system who are NOT under your control and
who are housed in other facilities (such as out of state, private, jails, and community residential
centers)?

o Yes
o No
Q12. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 11 above. Are any of these prisoners housed
in local or other facilities WITHIN your jurisdiction?

o Yes
o No

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Q13. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 12 above. Please provide data, if available,
on the numbers of such prisoners.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
Q14. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 11 above. Are any of these prisoners housed
OUTSIDE of your jurisdiction?

o Yes
o No
Q15. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 14 above. Please indicate the numbers of
such prisoners and to what jurisdictions they are sent.
__________________________________________________________________________
Q16. Section 2b. Please indicate which facilities use restrictive housing (check all that apply).

o Prisons
o Jails
o Juvenile facilities
o Mental health facilities
o Privately contracted facilities
o Special facilities for death-sentenced prisoners
o Immigration detention contract facilities
o Other (please specify) ________________________________________________

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Q17. Please indicate the facilities for which you have data on the use of restrictive housing (check
all that apply).

o Prisons
o Jails
o Juvenile facilities
o Mental health facilities
o Privately contracted facilities
o Special facilities for death-sentenced prisoners
o Immigration detention contract facilities
o Other (please specify) ________________________________________________
Q18. Please provide the total custodial population in each type of facility for which you have data
on the use of restrictive housing. (For example, if you indicated in the question above that you
have data on the use of restrictive housing in prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities, you would
provide the custodial population in these three types of facilities.)
Prisons : _______
Jails : _______
Juvenile facilities : _______
Mental health facilities : _______
Special facilities for death-sentenced prisoners : _______
Private prisons : _______
Immigration detention : _______
Other (please explain) : _______
Total : ________

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Q19. SECTION 2c. Please provide available data on restrictive housing.
Note: For all questions in this survey, if your jurisdiction moves prisoners from one restrictive
housing status or type to another without releasing them to a non-restrictive housing living unit,
please provide the total number of days in restrictive housing REGARDLESS of status or type. In
these cases, please include a comment noting that the total number of days includes time in two or
more restrictive housing classifications or types.
Example: A prisoner is housed for 10 days in restrictive housing as a disciplinary sanction and
upon completion of that sanction remains in restrictive housing for another 10 days for
administrative reasons. For the purposes of the survey, the amount of time in restrictive housing
would be 20 days, with a comment that the response reflects a time in both disciplinary and
administrative statuses.
Q20. How many people are in restrictive housing in the facilities for which you have data?
Short-term restrictive housing
(15 up to 29 days)

Extended restrictive housing
(> 29 days)

Prisons
Jails
Juvenile facilities
Mental health facilities
Special facilities for deathsentenced prisoners
Privately contracted
facilities
Immigration detention
contract facilities
Other (please specify)
Q21. Do you house persons in short-term restrictive housing (15 up to 29 days) with others in the
same cell?

o Yes
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
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Q22. Do you house persons in extended restrictive housing (> 29 days) with others in the same
cell?

o Yes
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q23. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 22 above. Of the restrictive-housing cells
you have, how many are designed to hold MORE THAN one prisoner?
________________________________________________________________
Q24. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 22 above. Of the restrictive-housing cells
you have, how many are designed to hold ONLY one prisoner?
________________________________________________________________
Q25. Answer only if you answered “Yes” to Question 22 above. As of September 15th, 2017, how
many prisoners (including males and females of all ages) were in restrictive housing and sharing
a cell with another prisoner?

o Short-term restrictive housing (15 up to 29 days)
________________________________________________

o Extended restrictive housing (> 29 days)
________________________________________________

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Q26. SECTION 3. Please provide available data regarding prisoners’ duration in restrictive
housing.
Q27. For all facilities for which you have data on the numbers of persons in restrictive housing,
do you regularly gather, collect, or report information on each prisoner’s length of stay in
restrictive housing? Please select all that apply.

o Yes, for each individual prisoner
o Yes, in aggregate
o Yes, grouped by prisoners’ reason for placement
o
Yes, grouped by some other measure (please explain)
________________________________________________
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q28. In what year did your jurisdiction begin to track length-of-stay data? (YYYY)
________________________________________________________________

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Q29. SECTION 4. Please provide the number of prisoners held in each type of restrictive housing
for the specified period (under 1 month, under three months, etc. in continuous/consecutive days
or months). Include both male and female prisoners.
Reminder: Please check that these totals comport with the information provided elsewhere in the
questionnaire or if not, please explain the differences.
Note: If you collect duration data but not data on reason or type of housing, please provide what
information is available.
Please enter “N/A” if data is not available.
Protective

Disciplinary

Administrative

Other

15 days – 1 month
1 month and 1 day – 3
months
3 months and 1 day to 6
months
6 months and 1 day –
12 months
12 months and 1 day –
36 months (1–3 years)
36 months and 1 day –
72 months (3–6 years)
72 months and 1 day or
more (more than 6
years)

Q30. If you were not able to provide some of these numbers, please explain why.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

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TOTAL

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Q31. If the data include prisoners in an “Other” category of restrictive housing, please specify and
explain the type(s) of restrictive housing to which you are referring.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

Q32. SECTION 5. Please provide available data regarding prisoners’ demographics (age, race,
ethnicity, gender, mental health, special populations).
Q33. What categories do you use?

o White
o Black (African American)
o Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
o Native American or Alaskan Native
o Hispanic or Latino
o Asian
o Other

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Q34. Please explain how you define each, as some jurisdictions have variation.

o White: ________________________________________________
o Black (African American): _______________________________________________
o Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: _______________________________________
o Native American or Alaskan Native: _______________________________________
o Hispanic or Latino: ________________________________________________
o Asian: ________________________________________________
o Other: ________________________________________________
Q35. What ethnic/racial categories fall within “Other”?
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
Q36. If you use additional categories, please list them and how you define them.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
Q37. How are identifications of race and ethnicity made?
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

Q38. SECTION 5a. Please provide available
POPULATION for all facilities that you identified.

data

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on

the TOTAL

CUSTODIAL

165

Q39. Please provide information on the number of total male and female prisoners by age group.
Male

Female

Under 18 years old
18–25 years old
26–35 years old
36–50 years old
Over 50 years old
TOTAL

Q40. If your system breaks down women and men by race and ethnicity, please give information
on the number of male and female prisoners by those categories.

White

Black

Native
Hawaiian
/ Pacific
Islander

Native
American
/ Alaskan
Native

Male
Female
TOTAL

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Hispanic
or Latino

Asian

Other

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Q41. SECTION 5b. Please provide available data on the RESTRICTIVE HOUSING
POPULATION for all facilities that you identified.
Q42. Please provide information on the number of total male and female prisoners by age group
who are in restrictive housing.
Male

Female

Under 18 years old
18–25 years old
26–35 years old
36–50 years old
Over 50 years old
TOTAL

Q43. If your system breaks down women and men by race and ethnicity, please give information
on the number of male and female prisoners by those categories who are in restrictive housing.

White

Black

Native
Hawaiian
/ Pacific
Islander

Native
American
/ Alaskan
Native

Hispanic
or Latino

Asian

Other

Male
Female
TOTAL

Q44. SECTION 5c. Please provide available data on the population of prisoners with SERIOUS
MENTAL ILLNESS for all facilities that you identified.
Q45. How does your jurisdiction define serious mental illness? Please provide the definition you
use. If you use a manual, please identify the manual (with its date or edition) that you use.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

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Q46. Please provide data on how many prisoners are classified as SERIOUSLY MENTALLY
ILL in your jurisdiction's TOTAL CUSTODIAL POPULATION.

White

Black

Native
Native
Hawaiian American Hispanic
/ Pacific / Alaskan / Latino
Islander
Native

Asian

Other

TOTAL

Male
Female
TOTAL
Q47. Using your definition of serious mental illness, what percentage of prisoners with serious
mental illness are in restrictive housing in your jurisdiction?

o Short-term restrictive housing (15 up to 29 days): (1)
________________________________________________

o Extended restrictive housing (> 29 days): (2)
________________________________________________

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Q48. Please provide data on how many prisoners are classified as SERIOUSLY MENTALLY
ILL and are in RESTRICTIVE HOUSING in your jurisdiction.

White

Black

Native
Native
Hawaiian American Hispanic
/ Pacific / Alaskan / Latino
Islander
Native

Male,
short-term
restrictive
housing
(15 up to
29 days)
Male,
extended
restrictive
housing (>
29 days)
Female,
short-term
restrictive
housing
(15 up to
29 days)
Female,
extended
restrictive
housing (>
29 days)
TOTAL

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Asian

Other

TOTAL

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Q49. To understand the capacity of your jurisdiction to respond to the problems faced by the
seriously mentally ill, the following questions focus on resources.

o What resources does your system have to respond to prisoners with serious mental illness
wherever such prisoners are housed?
________________________________________________

o How many trained clinicians does your system have to respond to prisoners with serious
mental illness? ________________________________________________

o How many related health professionals (such as nurse practitioners) does your system
have to respond to prisoners with serious mental illness?
________________________________________________

o What additional resources would you need to enable you to move prisoners with serious
mental illness out of restrictive housing?
________________________________________________

Q50. SECTION 5d. Please provide available data on the population of prisoners who are
TRANSGENDER and who are in RESTRICTIVE HOUSING in your jurisdiction.
Note: Please enter N/A if you do not track this information. Enter “0” if you do track the
information, and the answer to the question is zero.

o How are prisoners identified as transgender within your system?
________________________________________________

o How many transgender prisoners are in your system?
________________________________________________

o How many transgender prisoners are in short-term restrictive housing (15 up to 29 days)?
________________________________________________

o How many transgender prisoners are in extended restrictive housing (> 29 days)?
________________________________________________

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Q51. SECTION 5e. Please provide available data on the population of prisoners
who are PREGNANT and who are in RESTRICTIVE HOUSING in your jurisdiction.
Note: Please enter N/A if you do not track this information. Enter “0” if you do track the
information, and the answer to the question is zero.

o How many pregnant prisoners are in your system?
________________________________________________

o How many pregnant prisoners in your system are in short-term restrictive housing (15 up
to 29 days)? ________________________________________________

o How many pregnant prisoners are in extended restrictive housing (> 29 days)?
________________________________________________

Q52. SECTION 6. Some jurisdictions house prisoners for most of the hours of the day in cells (in
restrictive housing, segregated housing, or general population) for 15 days or more but for an
average of less than 22 hours a day. Given this variation, the following section asks about the 20–
22-hour interval, which reflects long amounts of time-in-cell not captured in the definition of
restrictive housing, even if the placement approximates restrictive housing in other ways.
Q53. Please provide the total number of prisoners, if any, who as of the date the data were collected
were not in restrictive housing as defined earlier in this survey but who have been otherwise held
in cell (either in single or double cells) for an average of 20–22 hours a day for 15 days or more.
Number of prisoners
Male
Female
TOTAL

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Q54. Please indicate which of the following facilities are included in the data in the above table.
Select all that apply.

o Prisons
o Jails
o Juvenile facilities
o Mental health facilities
o Privately contracted facilities
o Special facilities for death-sentenced prisoners
o Immigration detention contract facilities
o Other (please specify) ________________________________________________
Q55. In an ideal situation (i.e., if you had the necessary resources, and if you could do so consistent
with institutional safety), what number of hours out of cell do you believe is desirable for prisoners?
________________________________________________________________

Q56. SECTION 7. Since January 1, 2016, has your jurisdiction changed any of its policies
regarding restrictive housing? If so, for the following questions, please check what changes apply,
and specify when the policy change was made and whether it has been implemented. If applicable,
please cite to the relevant policy statement or memorandum.

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Q57. Entry Criteria

o Whether the criteria for placement in restrictive housing have been changed, and if so,
how the criteria have been changed
________________________________________________

o Whether behaviors were removed from the list of infractions qualifying prisoners for
restrictive housing placement, and if so, what behavior
________________________________________________

o Whether the decision to place individuals in restrictive housing required approval from
the central administration or other senior officials (please specify)
________________________________________________

o Whether pre-entry mental health screening affected placement in restrictive housing, and,
if so, when those screenings were conducted
________________________________________________

o Whether individualized needs assessments were conducted prior to placement in RH, and
when those were conducted ________________________________________________

o Whether placement in less restrictive alternatives to restrictive housing were considered
________________________________________________

o Other (please describe any policy changes not listed above)
________________________________________________
Q58. Criteria for Release from Restrictive Housing

o Creation of step-down or transition programs (if so, please describe the program/s, their
implementation timeline, and which prisoners in restrictive housing are eligible)
________________________________________________

o Programs and policies prohibiting direct release from restrictive housing to the
community and/or to the general population
________________________________________________

o Whether the decision to release or transition an individual from restrictive housing is now
made by a committee, rather than by an individual
________________________________________________

o Whether maximum durations on restrictive housing are in place (if so, please specify
what the maximum duration is) ________________________________________________

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o Whether policies have been implemented mandating that prisoners be told the criteria for
their release in advance (if so, please describe the policies)
________________________________________________

Q59. Oversight and Review of Restrictive Housing Placement and Use

o Changes in the frequency of review of the placement of prisoners in restrictive housing
o Changes in the decision-making authority to continue individuals in restrictive housing
o Whether a prisoner grievance policy has been added
o
Whether monitoring for mental illness has been increased (if so, how often are prisoners
evaluated for mental illness, and what steps are taken if they are found to have developed
mental health issues?) ________________________________________________

o
Whether new oversight programs have been created (if so, please describe the oversight
program) ________________________________________________
o Whether centralized monitoring has been implemented
o Whether improved tracking services and data collection have been introduced
o Other (please describe) ________________________________________________
Q60. Please specify how often the restrictive housing status of a prisoner is reviewed and by whom.
If the policy has changed, please specify how it has changed and when.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

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Q61. Mandated Time Out of Cell for Restrictive Housing Prisoners

o
Increased total time out of cell (if so, please specify how many additional hours out of
cell and which prisoners in restrictive housing qualify)
________________________________________________

o
Addition of structured time out of cell (therapeutic, programming) (if so, please specify
how many additional hours of structured time out of cell and which prisoners in restrictive
housing qualify) (if so, please specify how many additional hours out of cell and which
prisoners in restrictive housing qualify)
________________________________________________

o Addition of unstructured (recreational) time out of cell
o Addition of outdoor recreation
o Addition of more classes
o Addition of meals in social setting/cafeteria
o Other (please specify) ________________________________________________
Q62. Addition of Programming in Restrictive Housing

o
Addition of in-cell learning opportunities (if so, please describe which prisoners in
restrictive housing qualify) ________________________________________________
o
Access to more entertainment or literary materials (if so, please describe which prisoners
in restrictive housing qualify) ________________________________________________
o
More out-of-cell group programming (if so, please describe which prisoners in restrictive
housing qualify) ________________________________________________
o
Addition of GED/diploma program (if so, please describe which prisoners in restrictive
housing qualify) ________________________________________________

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Q63. Additional Provisions for Social Contact in Restrictive Housing
Q64. Have visitation hours/opportunities been increased?

o Yes
o No
Q65. Answer only if answered yes to question 64. With regard to the increased visitation
hours/opportunities:

o For what number of hours is visitation now available?
________________________________________________

o What use is there by individuals in restrictive housing?
________________________________________________

o Which prisoners in restrictive housing qualify?
________________________________________________

Q66. Has phone time been increased?

o Yes
o No
Q67. Answer only if answered yes to question 66. With regard to the increased phone time:

o By what frequency and length has it been increased?
________________________________________________

o Which prisoners in restrictive housing qualify?
________________________________________________
Q68. Has group recreation been added?

o Yes
o No

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Q69. Answer only if answered yes to question 68. With regard to the added group recreation:

o For what number of hours is group recreation now available?
________________________________________________

o Is it available with Security Desks only?
________________________________________________

o Which prisoners in restrictive housing qualify?
________________________________________________
Q70. Have group classes or other programming been added?

o Yes
o No
Q71. Answer only if answered yes to question 70. With regard to the added group classes or other
programming:

o What kind of programming is now available?
________________________________________________

o For what number of hours is the programming now available?
________________________________________________

o Is it available with Security Desks only?
________________________________________________

o Which prisoners in restrictive housing qualify?
________________________________________________
Q72. Policies or Training Related to Staffing of Restrictive Housing

o Mental health training ________________________________________________
o Staff rotations (if so, please specify the intervals)
________________________________________________

o Additional opportunities for education
________________________________________________

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Q73. Other
Q74. Has your jurisdiction studied the effects of the policy changes in terms of any of the following?
Please select all that apply.

o Incidents of violence
o Incidents of prisoner self-harm
o Prisoner morale
o Staff morale
o
Numbers of persons (or subsets of persons) placed in restrictive housing or subsets of
individuals (if so, please provide specific numbers)
________________________________________________

o Duration of placement
o Prisoner successes in coping with the general population, programs, and other activities
o Prisoner successes in returning to communities
o Changing costs
o Other (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q75. If you have any research on your work in this area, please direct us to its place of publication,
if applicable. Please note if you are able to email us (ascalimansurvey@yale.edu) both the policies
and the research, if available.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

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Q76. SECTION 8. Please answer the following questions with regard to the revised ACA
standards.
Q77. In August of 2016, the American Correctional Association (ACA) adopted new standards on
restrictive housing. Has your jurisdiction reviewed its policies since then on restrictive housing?

o Yes
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q78. Does your jurisdiction rely on these standards to make policies?

o Yes
o No (please explain) ________________________________________________
Q79. Below we ask whether four facets of the 2016 ACA standards have been implemented in
your jurisdiction.
Q80. Has your jurisdiction implemented the requirements of ACA standard 4-RH-0034, which
prohibits the use of extended restrictive housing (more than 29 continuous days) for offenders
under the age of 18?

o Yes
o No
o We have substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions
o This was the policy before the 2016 ACA revisions
Q81. Answer only if you answered “We have substantially implemented this policy, with
exceptions” to question 80. Please explain how you have implemented this policy (prohibiting
extended restrictive housing for offenders under the age of 18) and what exceptions you have made.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

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Q82. Has your jurisdiction implemented the requirements of ACA standard 4-RH-0033, which
prohibits the use of extended restrictive housing (more than 29 continuous days) for females
determined to be pregnant?

o Yes
o No
o We have substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions
o This was the policy before the 2016 ACA revisions
Q83. Answer only if you answered “We have substantially implemented this policy, with
exceptions” to question 82. Please explain how you have implemented this policy (prohibiting
extended restrictive housing for prisoners who are pregnant) and what exceptions you have made.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
Q84. Has your jurisdiction implemented the requirements of ACA standard 4-RH-0031, which
prohibits the use of extended restrictive housing (more than 29 continuous days) for inmates
diagnosed as seriously mentally ill?

o Yes
o No
o We have substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions
o This was the policy before the 2016 ACA revisions
Q85. Answer only if you answered “We have substantially implemented this policy, with
exceptions” to question 84. Please explain how you have implemented this policy (prohibiting
extended restrictive housing for inmates with serious mental illness) and what exceptions you have
made.________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

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Q86. Has your agency implemented ACA standard 4-RH-0030, whereby it attempts not to release
inmates from restrictive housing directly into the community?

o Yes
o No
o We have substantially implemented this policy, with exceptions
o This was the policy before the 2016 ACA revisions
Q87. Answer only if you answered “We have substantially implemented this policy, with
exceptions” to question 86. Please explain how you have implemented this policy (attempting not
to release inmates from restrictive housing directly into the community) and what exceptions you
have made.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
Q88. Please explain any other policies your jurisdiction has revised in light of the 2016 ACA
restrictive housing standards.
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________

END OF QUESTIONS

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Appendix B: This Report’s Table and Figures
List of Tables
Table 1

Numbers and Percentages of Men and Women in Restrictive Housing (RH)
by Jurisdiction ............................................................................................................. 12

Table 2

Numbers of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Length of Time and
by Jurisdiction............................................................................................................. 15

Table 3

Years When Tracking Length of Time in Restrictive Housing Began in
Thirty Jurisdictions ..................................................................................................... 16

Table 4

Number and Percentage of Male Custodial Population in Restrictive Housing......... 19

Table 5

Number and Percentage of Female Custodial Population in Restrictive Housing ..... 21

Table 6

Number of Jurisdictions Reporting on Racial or Ethnic Groups ................................ 22

Table 7

Demographic Composition of Total Male Custodial Population and Male
Restrictive Housing Population .................................................................................. 27

Table 8

Demographic Percentage Composition of Total Male Custodial Population and
Male Restrictive Housing Population ......................................................................... 29

Table 9

Demographic Composition of Total Female Custodial Population and Female
Restrictive Housing Population .................................................................................. 32

Table 10 Demographic Percentage Composition of Total Female Custodial Population and
Female Restrictive Housing Population...................................................................... 34
Table 11 Age Cohorts of Male Total Custodial Population and of Male Restrictive
Housing Population ..................................................................................................... 38
Table 12 Age Cohorts Percentage of Male Total Custodial Population and of Male
Restrictive Housing Population .................................................................................. 40
Table 13 Age Cohorts of Female Total Custodial Population and of Female Restrictive
Housing Population ..................................................................................................... 42
Table 14 Age Cohorts Percentage of Female Total Custodial Population and of Female
Restrictive Housing Population .................................................................................. 44
Table 15 Male Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness (SMI, variously defined) in
Restrictive Housing (RH) ........................................................................................... 48

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Table 16 Female Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness (SMI, variously defined) in
Restrictive Housing (RH) ........................................................................................... 49
Table 17 Male Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness by Race and Ethnicity in the Total
Custodial Population and in the Restrictive Housing Population ............................... 51
Table 18 Female Prisoners with Serious Mental Illness by Race and Ethnicity in the Total
Custodial Population and in the Restrictive Housing Population ............................... 53
Table 19 Total Custodial Population by Race and Ethnicity and Delineated by Sex/Gender in
Los Angeles and Philadelphia Jails............................................................................. 56
Table 20 Age Cohorts of Men and Women in the Total Custodial Population in
Los Angeles and Philadelphia Jails and in the Restrictive Housing Population in
Los Angeles Jails ........................................................................................................ 57
Table 21 Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Comparisons of Restrictive Housing Populations in
2015–2016 and in 2017–2018 ..................................................................................... 96
Table 22 Comparing the Numbers of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Length of Time
in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018............................................................................... 101
Table 23 Comparing the Distributions of Prisoners by Length of Time in Restrictive
Housing in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018 ................................................................ 102

List of Figures
Figure 1

Percentages of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Jurisdiction ............................... 11

Figure 2

Percentages of Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Percentage ................................ 12

Figure 3

Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Length of Time ................................................. 14

Figure 4

Percent of Total Population in Restrictive Housing by Gender ................................. 17

Figure 5

Percentage of Male Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Jurisdiction........................ 18

Figure 6

Percentage of Male Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Percentage ......................... 18

Figure 7

Percentage of Female Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Jurisdiction .................... 20

Figure 8

Percentage of Female Prisoners in Restrictive Housing by Percentage ..................... 20

Figure 9

Racial and Ethnic Composition of Male Prisoners in Total Custodial Population
and in Restrictive Housing Population ....................................................................... 23

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Figure 10 Racial and Ethnic Composition of Female Prisoners in Total Custodial
Population and in Restrictive Housing Population ..................................................... 23
Figure 11 Differences in Restrictive Housing and Total Custodial Population for Black
Male Prisoners ............................................................................................................ 25
Figure 12 Differences in Restrictive Housing and Total Custodial Population for Hispanic
Male Prisoners ............................................................................................................ 26
Figure 13 Age Distribution of Male Prisoners in Restrictive Housing and Total
Custodial Population ................................................................................................... 37
Figure 14 Age Distribution of Female Prisoners in Restrictive Housing and Total
Custodial Population ................................................................................................... 37
Figure 15 Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Comparisons of Percentages of Prisoners in
Restrictive Housing Populations in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018 ............................ 98
Figure 16 Jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Comparisons of the Changes in Percentage of
Prisoners in Restrictive Housing Populations in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018 ........ 99
Figure 17 Comparing the Distributions of Prisoners by Length of Time in Restrictive
Housing in 2015–2016 and in 2017–2018 ................................................................ 103

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Appendix C: Definitions of “Serious Mental Illness” in 43 Jurisdictions
Alabama

Psychotic disorders, bipolar disorders, and major depressive disorders; any
diagnosed mental disorder currently associated with serious impairment in
psychological, cognitive, or behavioral function that substantially interferes
with the person’s ability to meet the demands of living and requires an
individualized treatment plan by a qualified mental health provider.

Alaska

Mental Illness is an organic mental or emotional impairment that reduces an
individual’s exercise of conscious control over the individual’s actions and
reduces an individual’s ability to perceive reality, to reason or understand.

Arizona

ADC Mental Health Technical Manual, 06/18/2015 Defined: Those who
according to a licensed mental health clinician or provider possess: 1) A
qualifying mental health diagnosis as indicated on the SMI determination
form, and 2) A severe functional impairment directly relating to their mental
illness.

Arkansas

Serious Mental Illness-Psychotic, Bipolar and Major Depressive Disorders
and any other diagnosed mental disorder (excluding substance use disorders)
associated with serious behavioral impairment as evidenced by examples of
acute decompensation, self-injurious behaviors, and mental health
emergencies that require an individualized treatment plan by a qualified
mental health professional.

Colorado

CDOC Clinical Services uses the Diagnostic and Strategic Manual of Mental
Disorder, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) Serious Mental Illness: The current
diagnosis of any of the following DSM diagnoses accompanied by the P-code
qualifier of M or psychological coding of P4 or P5, denoting the presence of
a major mental disorder: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional
disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, substanceinduced psychotic disorder (excluding intoxication and withdrawal),
unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorder (previously
psychotic disorder not otherwise specified), major depressive disorders, and
bipolar disorders. Offenders, regardless of diagnosis, indicating a high level
of mental health needs based upon high symptom severity and/or high
resource demands, which demonstrate significant impairment in their ability
to function within the correctional environment.

Connecticut

MH5 Assessment: Crisis level mental disorder (acute conditions, temporary
classification). Requires 24 hour nursing care. Examples of mental health
conditions meeting the MH-5 level include but are not limited to acute
psychosis, severe depression, suicidal ideation, suicidal gestures or attempts,
and overwhelming anxiety. Moreover, these inmates can be actively suicidal
or self-mutilators. They require suicide watch, 15-minute watch or one-to-one

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monitoring. Refer to Appendix for further information. This is in accordance
with the 2012 Offender Classification Manual
Delaware

Bureau of Prisons Policy 4.3, p. 3. DSM-5 is used.

FBOP

Serious Mental Illness includes offenders diagnosed with the following:
Schizophrenia; Delusional Disorder; Schizophreniform Disorder;
Schizoaffective Disorder; Brief Psychotic Disorder; Bipolar I, II Disorder;
Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder (excluding intoxication or
withdrawal); Other Specified Psychotic Disorder; Major [D]epressive
Disorder; Other Specified Bipolar Disorder. Anyone who has Significant
Functional Impairment (see definition) due to their mental health (including
severe Personality Disorders, Intellectual Disability, Autism Spectrum
Disorder) defined as: Self-harming behaviors (i.e., cutting, head-banging,
suicide attempts, self-strangulation, self-mutilation, swallowing foreign
bodies, etc.); Demonstrated difficulty in his or her ability to engage in
activities of daily living (i.e., eating, grooming, participation in recreation,
etc.); Demonstrated a pervasive pattern of dysfunctional or disruptive social
interactions (i.e., social isolation, bizarre behavior, disruptive behavior, etc.).
A diagnosable mental disorder characterized by alternation in thinking, mood,
or impaired behavior associated with distress and/or impaired functioning;
primarily inclusive of schizophrenia, severe depression, and bipolar disorder,
and severe panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic
stress disorder.

Hawaii

Idaho

IDOC does not have a formal definition of Serious Mental Illness. We do,
however, assign inmates with Levels of Care. I believe our two highest levels
of care (Acute Correctional Mental Health Services—ACMHS and
Intermediate Correctional Mental Health Services—ICMHS) are generally
housed in specialized mental health housing and serve as an appropriate
analogue for Serious Mental Illness

Illinois

Gravely disabled—a condition where a person, as a result of a mental
disorder, is in danger of serious physical harm, resulting from a failure to
provide for his or her essential human needs of health or safety, or manifests
severe deterioration in routine functioning evidenced by repeated and
escalating loss of cognitive or volitional control over his or her actions.

Iowa

Schizophrenia, Recurrent Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, other
Chronic and Recurrent Psychosis, Dementia and other Organic Disorder.

Kansas

DSM-V

Kentucky

Serious Mental Illness means a current diagnosis by a Department of
Corrections psychological or psychiatric provider or a recent significant

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history of any of the following DSM-5 (or most current revision thereof)
diagnoses: Schizophrenia, delusional disorder, schizophreniform disorder,
schizoaffective disorder, brief psychotic, substance-induced psychotic
disorder (excluding intoxication and withdrawal), Psychotic Disorder Not
Otherwise Specified, Major Depression disorders, Bipolar I and Bipolar II
disorders, or current diagnosis by a DOC psychological or psychiatric
provider of a serious personality disorder that includes breaks with reality and
/or results in significant functional impairment.
Louisiana

HC Policy # 36 defines as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia disorder,
bipolar disorder, psychotic disorder, severe anxiety disorder, and severe
personality disorder.

Maryland

The Department defines “Serious Mental Illness” (SMI) in accordance with
the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), as follows: COMAR
10.21.17.02 (76) (76) “Serious mental illness” means a mental disorder that
is: (a) Manifest in an individual 18 years old or older; (b) Diagnosed,
according to a current diagnostic classification system that is recognized by
the Secretary as: (i) Schizophrenic disorder; (ii) Major affective disorder; (iii)
Other psychotic disorder; or (iv) Borderline or schizotypal personality
disorder, with the exclusion of an abnormality that is manifested only by
repeated criminal or otherwise antisocial conduct; and (c) Characterized by
impaired functioning on a continuing or intermittent basis, for at least 2 years,
and includes at least three of the following: (i) Inability to maintain
independent employment; (ii) Social behavior that results in interventions by
the mental health system; (iii) Inability, due to cognitive disorganization, to
procure financial assistance to support living in the community; (iv) Severe
inability to establish or maintain a personal support system; or (v) Need for
assistance with basic living skills.

Massachusetts

Serious Mental Illness (SMI) — For purposes of assessing whether
Segregation may be clinically contraindicated, or whether an inmate in
Segregation should be placed in a Specialized Treatment Unit, the term
“Serious Mental Illness” shall be defined as the following: 1. Inmates
determined by the Department’s mental health vendor to have a current
diagnosis or a recent significant history of any of the following types of DSMV diagnoses: a. Schizophrenia b. Delusional Disorder c. Schizophreniform
Disorder d. Schizoaffective Disorder e. Brief Psychotic Disorder f.
Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder (excluding intoxication and
withdrawal) g. Psychotic Disorder Not Otherwise Specified h. Major
Depressive Disorder i. Bipolar Disorder I and II. For purposes of this
definition, “recent significant history” shall be defined as a diagnosis
specified above in section (a)(1)-(9) upon discharge within the past year from
an inpatient psychiatric hospital. 2. Inmates diagnosed with disorders that are
commonly characterized by the mental health vendor with other DSM-V
breaks with reality, or perceptions of reality, that lead the individual to

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experience significant functional impairment involving acts of self-harm or
other behaviors that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on mental or
physical health. 3. Inmates diagnosed by the Department’s medical or mental
health vendor with a developmental disability, dementia or other cognitive
disorders that result in a significant functional impairment involving acts of
self-harm or other behaviors that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on
mental or physical health. 4. Inmates diagnosed by the Department’s mental
health vendor with a severe personality disorder that is manifested by
episodes of psychosis or depression, and results in significant functional
impairment involving acts of self-harm or other behaviors that have a
seriously adverse effect on life or on mental or physical health. Significant
Functional Impairment Factors for consideration when assessing significant
functional impairment shall include the following: a. The inmate has engaged
in self harm which shall be defined as a deliberate act by the inmate that
inflicts damage to, or threatens the integrity of, one’s own body. Such acts
include but are not limited to the following behaviors: hanging, selfstrangulation, asphyxiation, cutting, self-mutilation, ingestion of a foreign
body, insertion of a foreign body, head banging, drug overdose, jumping and
biting. b. The inmate has demonstrated difficulty in his or her ability to engage
in activities of daily living, including eating, grooming and personal hygiene,
maintenance of housing area, participation in recreation, and ambulation, as
a consequence of any DSM-V disorder. c. The inmate has demonstrated a
pervasive pattern of dysfunctional or disruptive social interactions including
withdrawal, bizarre or disruptive behavior, etc. as a consequence of any DSMV disorder.
Michigan

Prisoners with a mental illness have been diagnosed with a substantial
disorder of thought or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior,
capacity to recognize reality or cope with demands of basic living. We
consider classifications of what we have called major mental illness
including: psychotic schizophrenia, spectrum disorders, bipolar 1 and 2,
major depressive disorders, neurocognitive disorders.

Minnesota

Minnesota has a statutory definition of Serious and Persistent Mental Illness
that we use (MN Stat. 245.462 Subd. 20). (c) For purposes of case
management and community support services, a “person with serious and
persistent mental illness” means an adult who has a mental illness and meets
at least one of the following criteria: (1) the adult has undergone two or more
episodes of inpatient care for a mental illness within the preceding 24 months;
(2) the adult has experienced a continuous psychiatric hospitalization or
residential treatment exceeding six months' duration within the preceding 12
months; (3) the adult has been treated by a crisis team two or more times
within the preceding 24 months; (4) the adult: (i) has a diagnosis of
schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, schizoaffective disorder,
or borderline personality disorder; (ii) indicates a significant impairment in
functioning; and (iii) has a written opinion from a mental health professional,

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in the last three years, stating that the adult is reasonably likely to have future
episodes requiring inpatient or residential treatment, of a frequency described
in clause (1) or (2), unless ongoing case management or community support
services are provided; (5) the adult has, in the last three years, been committed
by a court as a person who is mentally ill under chapter 253B, or the adult’s
commitment has been stayed or continued; (6) the adult (i) was eligible under
clauses (1) to (5), but the specified time period has expired or the adult was
eligible as a child under section 245.4871, subdivision 6; and (ii) has a written
opinion from a mental health professional, in the last three years, stating that
the adult is reasonably likely to have future episodes requiring inpatient or
residential treatment, of a frequency described in clause (1) or (2), unless
ongoing case management or community support services are provided; or
(7) the adult was eligible as a child under section 245.4871, subdivision 6,
and is age 21 or younger.
Mississippi

Chronic mental health treatment or inpatient mental health treatment

Missouri

The department does not define “serious mental illness” in policy. All
offenders classified MH-3 and above (Form 931-0730 Classification Analysis
– Mental Health Needs) are enrolled in mental health chronic care and are
offenders with a serious mental illness. Our working definition is that defined
by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA,
Department
of
Health
and
Human
Services,
https://www.samhsa.gov/disorders): Serious mental illness among people
ages 18 and older is defined at the federal level as having, at any time during
the past year, a diagnosable mental, behavior, or emotional disorder that
causes serious functional impairment that substantially interferes with or
limits one or more major life activities.

Montana

No definition as of yet, still a work in progress.

Nebraska

Any mental health condition that current medical science affirms is caused by
a biological disorder of the brain and that substantially limits the life activities
of the person with the serious mental illness. Serious mental illness includes
but is not limited to (i) schizophrenia, (ii) schizoaffective disorder, (iii)
delusional disorder, (iv) bipolar affective disorder, (v) major depression, and
(vi) obsessive compulsive disorder. (Neb. Rev. Stat. 44-792)

Nevada

An individual is classified seriously mentally ill or SMI by a mental health
professional when the individual has a condition of such a nature that is a
threat to him or herself or others or is disruptive to the orderly operation of
the facility or institution. The Department ensures that inmates are evaluated
and a mental health diagnoses history is analyzed. The evaluation includes, at
minimum, the following components: suicide potential, symptoms of mental
illness, level of intellectual function, level of aggression, potential for escape,

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deviant sexual behavior, history of sexual abuse or aggression, and need of
psychotropic medication. Seriously impaired individuals: a) require special
housing and ongoing mental treatment; b) might be assigned to an extended
care unit (ECU) or mental health unit (MHU), c) typically require singlecelled housing, and d) are administered psychotropic medications monitored
by a psychiatrist. The disorder is defined as a condition that affects an
individual at least 18 years of age, and it must be of sufficient duration. The
NDOC follows the guidelines provided in the Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMS)5.
New Jersey

The NJDOC defines it as any inmate having a mental health problem which
impairs the functioning of the inmate to the extent which the MH clinical team
determines that treatment warrants admission to a mental health unit. The
below mentioned numbers represent the total number of inmates in the mental
health units for both males and females. It incorporates those on the SU, RTU
and TCU units. It should be noted the Department currently utilizes the
Diagnostic Statistical Manual, 5th Edition. The figure below reflects the
inmates placed in these specialized mental health units.

New Mexico

We have no definition of seriously mentally ill. What we have is a Mental
Health Treatment Center where we place inmates who have cognitive,
affective, and/or behavioral functioning deficits inhibit them from functioning
in general population. This could be long-term or short-term based on the
needs of the individual inmate . . . . We have a unit in the MHTC that houses
inmates in a segregated environment.

New York

New York State DOCCS Definition of Serious Mental Illness (Section 137
Correction Law) (e) An inmate has a serious mental illness when he or she
has been determined by a mental health clinician to meet at least one of the
following criteria: (i) he or she has a current diagnosis of, or is diagnosed at
the initial or any subsequent assessment conducted during the inmate’s
segregated confinement with, one or more of the following types of Axis I
diagnoses, as described in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and such diagnoses shall be made
based upon all relevant clinical factors, including but not limited to symptoms
related to such diagnoses: (A) schizophrenia (all sub-types), (B) delusional
disorder, (C) schizophreniform disorder, (D) schizoaffective disorder, (E)
brief psychotic disorder, (F) substance-induced psychotic disorder (excluding
intoxication and withdrawal), (G) psychotic disorder not otherwise specified,
(H) major depressive disorders, or (I) bipolar disorder I and II; (ii) he or she
is actively suicidal or has engaged in a recent, serious suicide attempt; (iii) he
or she has been diagnosed with a mental condition that is frequently
characterized by breaks with reality, or perceptions of reality, that lead the
individual to experience significant functional impairment involving acts of
self-harm or other behavior that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on
mental or physical health; (iv) he or she has been diagnosed with an organic

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brain syndrome that results in a significant functional impairment involving
acts of self-harm or other behavior that have a seriously adverse effect on life
or on mental or physical health; (v) he or she has been diagnosed with a severe
personality disorder that is manifested by frequent episodes of psychosis or
depression, and results in a significant functional impairment involving acts
of self-harm or other behavior that have a seriously adverse effect on life or
on mental or physical health; or (vi) he or she has been determined by a mental
health clinician to have otherwise substantially deteriorated mentally or
emotionally while confined in segregated confinement and is experiencing
significant functional impairment indicating a diagnosis of serious mental
illness and involving acts of self-harm or other behavior that have a serious
adverse effect on life or on mental or physical health.
North Carolina

Psychotic Disorders, Bi-polar Disorders, Major Depressive Disorder, and any
diagnosed mental disorder (excluding substance abuse disorders) currently
associated with serious impairment in psychological, cognitive, or behavioral
functioning that substantially interferes with the person’s ability to meet the
ordinary demands of living and requires an individualized treatment plan by
a qualified Mental Health professional(s). M3 and above is inclusive of all
inmates diagnosed with a mental illness receiving both psychological and
psychiatric services.

North Dakota

Serious Mental Illness: People found to have current symptoms or who are
currently receiving treatment for the following types of Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual, 5th Edition diagnoses that cause or have caused significant
functional impairment: Delusional Disorder, Psychotic Disorders of all types
including Schizophrenia, Major Depressive Disorders, Bipolar I and II
Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Borderline Personality.

Ohio

Serious Mental Illness (SMI) — Adults with a serious mental illness are
persons who are age eighteen (18) and over, who currently or at any time
during the past year, have a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional
disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the
most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and that
has resulted in functional impairment which substantially interferes with or
limits one or more major life activities. These disorders have episodic,
recurrent, or persistent features; however, they vary in terms of severity and
disabling effects.

Oklahoma

OP-140201, Attachment B, November 2, 2006, defines serious mental illness
as mental health levels B through D. Policy attachment emailed as
supplemental materials to ascalimansurvey@yale.edu

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Oregon

Serious Mental Illness: An inmate that, in the judgment of the department,
because of a mental disorder is one or more of the following:
(a) Dangerous to self or others;
(b) Unable to provide for basic personal needs and would likely benefit from
receiving additional care for the inmate’s health or safety;
(c) Chronically mentally ill, as defined in ORS 426.495; or
(d) Will continue, to a reasonable medical probability, to physically or
mentally deteriorate so to become a person described in (c) above unless
treated.

Pennsylvania

Definition of Serious Mental Illness 1. Inmates determined by the PRT to
have a current diagnosis or a recent significant history of any of the DSM5
diagnoses (using ICD10 codes and letter tags): a. Substance-Induced
Psychotic Disorder (excluding intoxication and withdrawal) F10.159,
Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder, with mild use disorder, F10.259,
Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder, with moderate-severe use disorder,
F10.959, Alcohol-Induced Psychotic Disorder, without use disorder
Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorders employ the same specifiers
(.159; .259; .959) With cannabis F12; sedative, hypnotic, anxiolytic F13;
cocaine F14; amphetamine F15; other hallucinogen/ phencyclidine F16;
inhalant F18; and other substance/unknown substance F19 b.
Schizophreniform Disorder F20.81 c. Schizophrenia F20.9 d. Delusional
Disorder F22a, Erotomanic type F22b, Grandiose type F22c, Jealous type
F22d, Persecutory type F22e, Somatic type F22f, Mixed type F22g,
Unspecified type e. Brief Psychotic Disorder F23 f. Schizoaffective Disorder
F25.0, BIP type F25.1, DEP type g. Other Psychotic Disorders F06.0,
Psychosis due med condition w/ delusions F06.2 Psychosis due med condition
w/ hallucinations F28 Other specified schizophrenia spectrum and other
Psychotic Disorder F29 Unspecified schizophrenia spectrum and other
Psychotic Disorder h. Bipolar I and II F31.0, BIP I, current or most recent
episode hypomanic F31.11, BIP I, current or most recent episode manic, mild
F31.12, BIP I, current or most recent episode manic, moderate F31.13, BIP I,
current or most recent episode manic, severe F31.2, BIP I, current or most
recent episode manic, w/psychotic features F31.31, BIP I, current or most
recent episode depressed, mild F31.32, BIP I, current or most recent episode
depressed, moderate F31.4 BIP I, current or most recent episode depressed,
severe F31.5 BIP I, current or most recent episode depressed, w/psychotic
features F31.71, BIP I, current or most recent episode hypomanic, in partial
remission F31.72, BIP I, current or most recent episode hypomanic, in full
remission F31.73, BIP I, current or most recent episode manic, in partial
remission F31.74, BIP I, current or most recent episode manic, in full
remission F31.75, BIP I, current or most recent episode depressed, in partial
remission F31.76, BIP I, current or most recent episode depressed, in full

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remission F31.81, BIP II disorder F31.9a, BIP I, current or most recent
depressed, unspecified F31.9b, BIP I, current or most recent episode
hypomanic, unspecified F31.9c, BIP I, current or most recent episode manic,
unspecified F31.9d, BIP I, current most recent episode unspecified i. Major
Depressive Disorder F32.0, MDD, single episode, mild F32.1, MDD, single
episode, moderate F32.2, MDD, single episode, severe F32.3, MDD, single
episode, w/psychotic features F32.4, MDD, single episode, in partial
remission F32.5, MDD, single episode, in full remission F32.9a, MDD, single
episode, unspecified F33.0, MDD, recurrent, mild F33.1, MDD, recurrent,
moderate F33.2, MDD, recurrent, severe F33.3, MDD, recurrent, w/psychotic
features F33.41, MDD, recurrent, in partial remission F33.42, MDD,
recurrent, in full remission F33.9, MDD, recurrent, unspecified NOTE: For
the purpose of this definition, the term “recent significant history” shall be
defined as “currently in existence or within the preceding three months.” 2.
Inmates diagnosed by PRT with DSM5 disorders that are commonly
characterized by breaks with reality, or perceptions of reality, that lead the
individual to experience significant functional impairment involving acts of
self-harm or other behaviors that have a seriously adverse effect on life or on
mental or physical health. 3. Inmates diagnosed by PRT with Intellectual
Disability, a dementia, or other cognitive disorders that result in a significant
impairment involving acts of self-harm or other behaviors that have seriously
adverse effect on life or on mental or physical health. 4. Any inmate sentenced
GBMI. B. Clinical Guidelines for Functional Impairment Factors for
consideration when assessing significant functional impairment shall include
the following: 1. whether the inmate has engaged in self-harm which shall be
defined as a “deliberate, intentional, direct injury of body tissue with or
without suicidal intent.” Such acts include, but are not limited to the following
behaviors: hanging, self-strangulation, asphyxiation, cutting, self-mutilation,
ingestion of a foreign body, insertion of a foreign body, head banging, drug
overdose, jumping, and biting themselves; 2. the inmate has demonstrated
significant difficulty in his or her ability to engage in activities of daily living,
including eating, grooming and personal hygiene, maintenance of housing
area, participation in recreation, and ambulation; and 3. the inmate has
demonstrated a pervasive pattern of dysfunctional or disruptive social
interactions including withdrawal, bizarre or disruptive behavior. C.
Intellectual Disability Inmates scoring 70 or below on the BETA-III will be
administered an individual IQ test (WASI-II or WAIS-IV) at the parent
facility. If their WASI-II IQ is 70 or below then a full WAIS-IV will be
administered. If this WAIS-IV comes out to 70 or below, a measurement of
adaptive behavior including the following will be assessed: 1. conceptual
skills—language and literacy; money, time and number concepts; and selfdirection; 2. social skills—interpersonal skills, social responsibility, selfesteem, gullibility, naiveté, social problem solving, the ability to follow
rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized; and 3. practical skills—
activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare,
travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, and use of

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telephone. NOTE: An assessment to determine if the disability originated
during the developmental period should be conducted to establish if the
intellectual and adaptive deficits were present during childhood or
adolescence. This assessment should include corroborative information
obtained from complementary reliable and valid sources, which reflect
functioning outside of the prison setting. Additional factors to take into
account include the community environment typical of the individual’s peers
and culture, linguistic diversity, cultural differences in the way people
communicate, move, and behave. Assessments must also assume that
limitations often coexist with strengths, and that a person’s level of life
functioning will improve if appropriate personalized supports are provided
over a sustained period. F70, Intellectual Disability (Intellectual
Developmental Disorder) mild = 50/55-70 F71, IDD, moderate =35/40-50/55
F72, IDD, severe =20/25-35/40 F73, IDD, profound =<20/25 F74, IDD,
severity unspecified
Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC) defines serious and
persistent mental illness (SPMI) as being a condition that affects persons aged
18 or older who currently or at any time in the past year have had a diagnosed
mental, behavioral or emotional disorder of sufficient duration to meet the
criteria specified within DSM-V (with the exception of substance use
disorders and developmental disorders) that has resulted in significant
functional impairment that has occurred on either a continuous or intermittent
basis. The qualifying diagnoses recognized by our jurisdiction are as follows:
Schizophrenia, Schizoaffective Disorder, Other Specified Schizophrenia
Spectrum and other Psychotic Disorders, Bipolar Disorder(s), Delusional
Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, PostTraumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Borderline
Personality Disorder.

South Carolina

A Diagnosed Mental Health Disorder from the DSM 5 associated with serious
behavioral impairment as evidenced by examples of acute decompensation or
self-injurious behaviors affecting ability to function and requiring
individualized treatment by a mental health professional.

South Dakota

The following are the criteria used by mental health staff to identify someone
who has a serious mental illness (SMI) and would benefit from those higher
levels of care. (1) The consumer’s severe and persistent emotional,
behavioral, or psychological disorder causes the consumer to meet at least one
of the following criteria: (a) The consumer has undergone psychiatric
treatment more intensive than outpatient care and more than once in a
lifetime, such as, emergency services, alternative residential living, or
inpatient psychiatric hospitalization; (b) The consumer has experienced a
single episode of psychiatric hospitalization with an Axis I or Axis II
diagnosis per the DSM-IV-TR as defined in § 46:20:01:01; (c) The consumer
has been treated with psychotropic medication for at least one year; or (d) The

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consumer has had frequent crisis contact with a center, or another provider,
for more than six months as a result of a severe and persistent mental illness;
and (2) The consumer’s severe and persistent emotional, behavioral, or
psychological disorder meets at least three of the following criteria: (a) The
consumer is unemployed or has markedly limited job skills or poor work
history; (b) The consumer exhibits inappropriate social behavior which results
in concern by the community or requests for mental health or legal
intervention; (c) The consumer is unable to obtain public services without
assistance; (d) The consumer requires public financial assistance for out-ofhospital maintenance; (e) The consumer lacks social support systems in a
natural environment, such as close friends and family, or the consumer lives
alone or is isolated; or (f) The consumer is unable to perform basic daily living
skills without assistance.
Tennessee

TDOC Policy 113.87: Serious Mental Illness (SMI): A substantial disorder of
thought or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to
recognize reality or cope with ordinary demands of life within the correctional
environment and is manifested by substantial impairment or disability.
Serious mental illness requires a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional
disorder of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the
most current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) or International
Classification of Disease (ICD) equivalent (and subsequent revisions) in
accordance with an individualized treatment plan

Texas

TDCJ does not define “serious mental illness.” The numbers provided below
are those offenders who are on an inpatient mental health caseload.

Utah

SPMI: Generally well known to mental health, consistently requires
“intensive level of mental health treatment, observation and services.” Severe
to significant impairment in functioning due to mental illness.

Washington

A substantial disorder of thought or mood which significantly impairs
judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or cope with the ordinary
demands of life within the prison environment and is manifested by
substantial pain or disability. Serious mental illness requires a mental health
diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, as appropriate, by mental health staff. It
is expressly understood that this definition does not include inmates who are
substance abusers, substance dependent, including alcoholics and narcotics
addicts, or persons convicted of any sex offense, who are not otherwise
diagnosed as seriously mentally ill.

West Virginia

A manifestation in a person of significantly impaired capacity to maintain
acceptable levels of functioning in the areas of intellect, emotion, and physical
wellbeing. W.Va. Code § 27-1-2.

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Wisconsin

MH-2a—A current diagnosis of, or being in remission from, the following
conditions: Schizophrenia, Delusional Disorder, Schizophreniform Disorder,
Schizoaffective Disorder, Other Specified (and Unspecified) Schizophrenia
Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar
I Disorder, and Bipolar II Disorder. MH2-a also includes inmates with current
or recent symptoms of the following conditions: Brief Psychotic Disorder,
Substance / Medication-Induced Psychotic Disorder, head injury or other
neurological impairments that result in behavioral or emotional dyscontrol,
chronic and persistent mood or anxiety disorders, and other conditions that
lead to significant functional disability. MH-2b—Inmates with a primary
personality disorder that is severe, accompanied by significant functional
impairment, and subject to periodic decompensation; i.e., psychosis,
depression, or suicidality. If an inmate has stable behavior for two years, the
code may be reassessed. Excluded from MH-2B classification are inmates
who have a primary diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder and whose
behavior is primarily the result of targeted goals rather than impairment from
diagnosed mental illness.

Wyoming

Major Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or any type of
long term Psychosis. Psychosis due to a medical or substance use condition
that resolved is not included.

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