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Constitutional Implications of Restrictive Housing

"The prison setting imposes greater than normal restrictions on liberty, privacy, and communication. As a result, the prison comes under greater legal scrutiny regarding extent of the restrictions and deprivations of those restrictions and deprivations. Within the prison setting, the placement of inmates in restrictive housing or administrative segregation generates even greater judicial scrutiny due to the level of restriction, reasonableness of the placement and the indeterminate length of the segregation. Even with the proper policies in place, the conditions and programming in restrictive housing require careful review and attention for any correctional facility. In the past few decades, prisoners and prisoner right advocates have successfully challenged many departments on the use of restrictive housing. The following presents a brief overview of the areas in which departments have faced legal challenges" (p. 1). Constitutional challenges regarding restrictive housing in the recent past have been made based on First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, Eighth Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment.