Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Legislation and Litigation

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A federal appeals court ruled in favor of a Montana prisoner rights complaint alleging that Montana State Prison fails to provide adequate mental health care, puts prisoners in conditions that mimic solitary confinement, and exacerbates mental health problems.

This 2019 Montana law creates requirements for the use of restrictive housing in adult and youth facilities, such as barring its use for pregnant or postpartum people and requiring step-down programs for individuals in segregation for more than 30 days.

This 2019 New Jersey law limits the long-term use of “isolated confinement” and prohibits its use for vulnerable populations such as youth, older people, those with disabilities, pregnant or postpartum people, and the LGBTI population.

Litigation in Mississippi required the Department of Corrections to ameliorate substandard conditions at the supermaximum Unit 32 of Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, remove prisoners with serious mental illness from administrative segregation and provide them with adequate treatment, and reexamine

In October 2017, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, Rick Raemisch, contributed an op-ed to the New York Times describing how and why the state ended the practice of long term administrative segregation. By adopting alternatives to