Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Assessing the Impact of Time Spent in Restrictive Housing Confinement on Subsequent Measures of Institutional Adjustment among Men in Prison

Assessing the Impact of Time Spent in Restrictive Housing Confinement on Subsequent Measures of Institutional Adjustment among Men in Prison

Labrecque, Ryan M. “Assessing the Impact of Time Spent in Restrictive Housing Confinement on Subsequent Measures of Institutional Adjustment among Men in Prison.” Criminal Justice and Behavior, 2019.

Some proponents of restrictive housing believe that it is an effective deterrent for problematic behavior, while critics argue that isolation causes psychological damage and actually increases rule infractions and other behavioral issues. However, few studies analyze the effects of restrictive housing on behavior. This study examines how time spent in restrictive housing impacts “subsequent measures of institutional adjustment among men in prison.” The author found that time spent in restrictive housing has no statistically significant impact on future misconduct, and that time spent in restrictive housing has a statistically significant—but marginal—negative effect on future placements in restrictive housing. “The research and policy implications of these results are discussed.”

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Keywords: restrictive housing, segregated housing, segregation, disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, solitary confinement