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NCJ Number: 249750 Find in a Library
Title: Administrative Segregation in U.S. Prisons Executive Summary
Author(s): Natasha A. Frost; Carlos E. Monteiro
Corporate Author: CSR Incorporated
United States of America
Date Published: March 2016
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: CSR Incorporated
Arlington, VA 22201
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: 2010F_10097
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Literature Review; Report (Grant Sponsored); Report (Study/Research); Report (Summary); Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document; Document (Online)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is the executive summary of a review of research conducted on the features, uses, and effects of administrative segregation in U.S. correctional facilities.
Abstract: A review of the history and contemporary use of administrative segregation is followed by an examination of issues related to the use of solitary confinement, relevant court decisions and consent decrees, the utility and effects of administrative segregation and solitary confinement, and the future of administrative segregation. The introductory section notes that given the variety of terms used to describe various practices that separate individual inmates from the general inmate population, the authors decided not to use “administrative segregation” as an umbrella term. They use the terms ”segregation” or “segregation in restricted housing units.“ The authors distinguish between solitary confinement through “disciplinary segregation,” which refers to short-term confinement after a specific infraction, and solitary confinement through “administrative segregation,“ which refers to long-term classification to a “supermax” unit or facility within a correctional system. The first part of the paper focuses on administrative segregation rather than disciplinary segregation; however, the discussion of the empirical research refers more broadly to solitary confinement. After reviewing the research, the authors conclude that few researchers question that some prisoners being held in isolation are exceptionally dangerous and violent, which might require some type of segregation; on the other hand, few would also conclude that all, or even most, prisoners held in isolation require the type of solitary confinement that is typical of such settings, particularly for extended periods. Virtually all researchers conclude that the harms associated with extended solitary confinement could and should be avoided. Recommendations for future research are to establish consensus definitions; collect and analyze data for prevalence estimates; distinguish effects of short-term and long-term solitary confinement; establish standards for researchers to access segregated inmate populations; and prioritize funding for reliable research. 34 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Corrections research; Inmate discipline; Inmate health; NIJ grant-related documents; NIJ Resources; Prison management; Solitary confinement
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