Yale Law School. The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program (New Haven CT)
“This report provides an overview of state and federal policies related to long-term isolation of inmates, a practice common in the United States and one that has drawn attention in recent years from many sectors. All jurisdictions in the United States provide for some form of separation of inmates from the general population. Prison administrators see the ability to separate inmates as central to protecting the safety of both inmates and staff. Yet many correctional systems are reviewing their use of segregated confinement; as controversy surrounds this form of control, its duration, and its effects” (p. 1). Sections following an overview of findings include: criteria for placement in administrative segregation; procedures and processes for placement; periodic review; and conditions, step-down programs, visitation, and degrees of isolation.
This report "provides the only current, comprehensive data on the use of restricted housing, in which individuals are held in their cells for 22 hours or more each day, and for 15 continuous days or more at a time. The Report also documents efforts across the country to reduce the number of people in restricted housing and to reform the conditions in which isolated prisoners are held in order to improve safety for prisoners, staff, and communities at large" (p. 1).
"This collection of materials, which was provided as a starting point for the discussion, describes current patterns of incarceration and explores interventions designed to reduce the degree to which correctional facilities maintain order through the isolation of prisoners, both through the locating of prison facilities and the placement of people within them."
The text is divided into three chapters. Chapter 1. Isolation by Place and by Rule--Mapping Prison Placements, the Impact of Gender, and the Challenges of Distance: the power of placement; law and placement; locating and relocating prisons; attending to difference; and bridging distances—the cost of contact. Living Together or Apart--Isolation in Place, Oversight, and Alternatives: policies and practices for segregation placement and programs; inclusion, exclusion, and subpopulations; reassessing segregation; and legitimacy and authority in prions. And The Political Economies of Change--Setting Agendas: getting out of where we are—framing how and why we got here; reformatting prison practices—a snapshot of the current spending paradigm, the "reinvestment paradigm", and prisons as providers of social services and education's potential and political freight; and oversight outside prison.
"By facilitating cross-jurisdictional comparisons of the rules and practices that surround administrative segregation, this Report both reflects and supports ongoing efforts to understand its impact, reevaluate its use, and limit or end extended isolation … Calls for significant reductions in the use of isolation come from all quarters and, importantly, from the chief operating officers of prison systems. But without a baseline, it is not possible to know the impact of the many efforts underway to reduce or eliminate the isolation of prisoners and to enable prisoners and staff to live and work in safe environments, respectful of human dignity. Time-in-Cell provides one measure, to use as a baseline to assess whether the changes hoped for are taking place, such that the number of persons held in such settings and the degrees of their isolation are substantially diminishing" (p. iii). This report is divided into eight sections: the parameters and concerns about administrative segregation; the 2014 Limon-ASCA Survey; the use of administrative segregation; the demographics of administrative segregation—2011, 2014; living in administrative segregation—degrees of isolation; the administration of ad seg; reconsidering administrative segregation; and revising the use of administrative segregation—lessening the numbers in and the degrees of isolation.