Rethinking Restrictive Housing
Date:  05-28-2018

Vera Institute of Justice report offers recommendations on how safe and effective alternatives to restrictive housing can be utilized
From the introduction of the Vera Institute of Justice report Rethinking Restrictive Housing:

After decades of its overuse in prisons and jails, the tide appears to be turning on restrictive housing. One of the most troubling practices in U.S. prisons and jails, it is generally defined as holding someone in a cell, typically for 22 to 24 hours a day, with minimal human interaction or sensory stimuli. In recent years, this practice has been the subject of increased scrutiny from researchers, advocates, policymakers, media, and corrections agencies.

Since the 1980s, the increase in restrictive housing has mirrored the exponential rise of incarceration. Originally intended to manage people who committed violence within jails and prisons, restrictive housing has become a common tool for responding to all levels of rule violations, from minor to serious; managing challenging populations; and housing people considered vulnerable.1 In short, just as systems have come to rely too heavily on incarceration, departments of corrections now rely too much on restrictive housing. And, as in other parts of the justice system, restrictive housing often affects disproportionate numbers of young people, people living with mental illness, and people of color.2

But these problems can be solved. In light of growing evidence that restrictive housing may harm people without improving safety in facilities, a number of departments of corrections are taking steps to reduce their reliance on this type of housing.

Continue reading the report here.