« "The Pressing Need for Mens Rea Reform" | Main | "The simple truth about why mass incarceration happened" »

September 2, 2015

Prison administrators contribute to new report on solitary confinement

AscatanAs detailed in this press release, the Association of State Correctional Administrators has joined with researchers at Yale to produce an important new report about solitary confinement. Here are the basics via the press release: 

Prolonged isolation of individuals in jails and prisons is a grave problem in the United States. The insistence on change comes not only from legislators across the political spectrum, judges, and a host of private sector voices, but also from the directors of correctional systems at both state and federal levels.  Even as a national outcry has arisen about isolation, relatively little information exists about the actual number of people held in restrictive housing, the policies determining their placement, and whether and how conditions vary in different jurisdictions.  Indeed, the figures cited on the number of people held in isolation vary from 25,000 to more than 80,000.  But that information comes from a decade and more ago.

To rectify the absence of data and to pave the way for changes, the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) joined with the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School to develop a national database of the policies and practices on what correctional officials call “restricted housing” and is frequently referred in the media as “solitary confinement.”  ASCA is the only national organization of persons directly responsible for the administration of correctional systems and includes the heads of each state’s corrections agencies, as well as the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the District of Columbia, New York City, Philadelphia and Los Angeles County.

The result is the new report Time-in-Cell: The Liman-ASCA 2014 National Survey of Administrative Segregation in Prison, which is the first to provide updated information, as of the fall of 2014, on both the numbers and the conditions in restrictive housing nationwide.  This Report represents the commitments of correctional leaders to make such changes.  But without a baseline, it is not possible to know the impact of the many efforts underway. Time-in-Cell provides one way to measure and to learn whether the hoped-for changes are taking place, to reduce and to eliminate the isolation of prisoners, so as to enable prisoners and staff to live and work in safe environments, respectful of human dignity. 

This important report, which runs nearly 100 pages, is available in full at this link. Some of its findings and the broaded policy discourse now surrounding solitary confinement are effectively covered in new stories via the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal here and here, respectively.

September 2, 2015 at 10:29 PM | Permalink


Solitary Confinement. Think about this folks. I know that most of you married people would like some time alone. But this prison thing is not just alone but it is locked up in a small cell alone for years and years. Oh, yeah, they let you out to exercise sometimes. They let you out to see grandma. What we need to do in America is have politicians spend ten days in solitary confinement in a local prison in their state.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Sep 3, 2015 12:28:30 AM

Yale. Hate America scum, without exception. There is nothing to say to such as they. End all funding to this treason indoctrination camp. They need to be investigated and shut down. They have been the vector for every bad idea from Europe that has infected our nation. Dismissed.

ASCA. When the Aryan Nation leader orders the stabbing of a black guard in the eye, with a pencil, and there is no solitary confinement. When no restraints are permitted. Nor any corporal punishment. There is not even verbal criticism of this lawyer protected and immunized LWOP prisoner. What remains for safety?

Very good. Increased staffing.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 3, 2015 3:07:43 AM

Lib. What we need to do in America is have criminal lovers show us how to handle ultra-violent super-predators without isolation. Have each spend ten days as a prison guard in a local prison in their state.

Bring an eye patch.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 3, 2015 3:12:51 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB