Segregated Housing and Mental Health

North Dakota’s Norway Experiment

This 2017 article describes the 2015 trip to Norway by officials from North Dakota’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the subsequent changes made to their system including restricted housing. Read More

Report to the NYC Board of Correction

This 2013 report by the New York City Board of Correction provides a scathing picture of how solitary confinement is employed as a routine disciplinary measure on Rikers Island and in other city jails. Read More

Dignity Denied

This 2013 report from the Center for American Progress examines the mistreatment of LGBT immigrants in immigration detention. Read More

Reducing the Use of Isolation

This Toolkit is intended to guide youth correctional administrators and their directors of institutions in changing cultures that rely on isolation as a behavior management tool. Read More

Restrictive Housing in the U.S.: Issues, Challenges, and Future Directions

This report, composed by the National Institute of Justice, dives into all aspects of restrictive housing from conditions of confinement to legality to impacts and more. This report is comprised of a series of papers by leading experts on restrictive housing and commentary on research gaps, as well as directions for further research. This is not a new research study. Read More

New Hampshire House Bill 480

This bill would have capped the length of disciplinary segregation at 6 weeks and banned the use of solitary confinement for individuals under age 18 and for those with serious mental illness. Read More

Solitary Confinement: Punished for Life

This New York Times article focuses on the psychological effects of long-term solitary confinement and examines the research of Dr. Craig Haney, who interviewed inmates who have been in segregation for years and even decades at Pelican Bay State Prison in California. Read More

Silverstein v. Federal Bureau of Prisons

In this case, a federal court found that the conditions of the plaintiff in a Bureau of Prisons facility (ADX Florence) did not rise to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation and that the Bureau was justified in housing the plaintiff in segregation. Read More

Parsons v. Ryan

A federal court approved a settlement in this class-action suit on behalf of prisoners in Arizona. The settlement makes significant reforms in prison conditions, including for prisoners in solitary confinement who have serious mental illnesses. Read More

Dockery v. Epps

This federal lawsuit was brought on behalf of prisoners housed at a private, for-profit prison designed to provide treatment for incarcerated individuals with serious mental illness. It alleged unconstitutional conditions of confinement at this facility, including the placement of prisoners with significant mental illness in isolation for long periods of time. Read More

My Night in Solitary

This New York Times op-ed by Colorado corrections director Rick Raemisch chronicles the night he voluntarily spent in solitary confinement and reflects on Colorado prisons’ use of segregated housing and the need for reform. Read More

The Plot from Solitary

This long-form article from New York magazine examines the hunger strike by Todd Ashker and other inmates at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, and the conditions in the prison’s Special Housing Unit (SHU) which led the strikers to protest. Read More

Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement

This article by Dr. Stuart Grassian, an expert regarding the psychiatric impact of federal and state segregation and disciplinary units in many settings, examines the severe psychiatric harm that solitary confinement can cause. Read More

Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-harm Among Jail Inmates

This analysis found self-harm to be associated significantly with, among other factors, being in solitary confinement at least once and serious mental illness. Because of this concern, the New York City jail system modified its practices to direct inmates with mental illness who violate rules to more clinical settings and eliminate solitary confinement for those with serious mental illness. Read More

Ashker v. Governor of California

This federal class action lawsuit, on behalf of prisoners held in the Security Housing Unit at California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, was settled on September 1, 2015, ending indeterminate solitary confinement in California, and dramatically reducing the number of people in isolation. Read More

Office of Protection and Advocacy v. Choinski

Connecticut's Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities filed a case alleging that prisoners with mental illness were subject to unconstitutional conditions of confinement. The settlement agreement called for increased staffing and changes to mental health services. Read More

Presley v. Epps

This federal lawsuit, filed on behalf of individuals confined in a supermax facility in Mississippi, alleged inhumane conditions of confinement. In August 2010, Mississippi agreed to close the unit and move all seriously mentally ill inmates to a mental health facility. Read More

Texas House Bill 1083

This bill, passed in 2015, requires a mental health assessment be performed before an inmate can be placed in administrative segregation. Read More

New York Senate Bill 6422 / Assembly Bill 9342

This bill, which went into effect in 2008, requires mental health assessments of inmates placed in segregated confinement and requires that inmates with serious mental illness be excluded from such confinement and instead placed in residential mental health treatment units. Read More

S.H. v. Reed

A federal civil rights class action on behalf of all juveniles in the custody of the Ohio Department of Youth Services. Read More