American Correctional Association. Delaware Department of Correction Restrictive Housing Assessment. March 17, 2016.
With nearly 20% of incarcerated individuals having a diagnosed mental disorder, there is extensive writing about the exponential growth in the mentally ill population in America’s jails and prisons. As the Restricted Housing (RH) population and mentally ill population converged, it became clear that mentally ill individuals were disproportionally represented in RH. These mentally ill individuals were being placed in RH at over twice the rate of those without mental illness. As a result, litigation addressing the disproportionate number of mentally ill individuals in RH proliferated throughout America’s correctional systems.
The Delaware Department of Correction statewide population characteristics for mental illness/treatment related statistics appear to be consistent with other state correctional systems incarcerating inmates and detainees. The statewide population characteristics for mental illness/treatment related statistics in RH also appear to be consistent with other state correctional systems incarcerating inmates and detainees.
Restrictive housing may have benefits for most individuals within the corrections environment yet its use must be in a proper and controlled manner so as to not cause long term negative effects on the individual involved. The American Correctional Association partnered with the Delaware Department of Correction to address the issue of restrictive housing and improve behavioral health.
Keywords: disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, restrictive housing, restricted housing, segregation, segregated housing, isolation, torture, discrimination, segregated housing and mental health