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U.S. Department of Justice Report and Recommendations Concerning the Use of Restrictive Housing [Final Report, Appendixes, and Guiding Principles]

Accession Number: 031467
Media Type: 
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There is no doubt that "there are occasions when correctional officials have no choice but to segregate inmates from the general population, typically when it is the only way to ensure the safety of inmates, staff, and the public and the orderly operation of the facility. But as a matter of policy, we believe strongly this practice should be used rarely, applied fairly, and subjected to reasonable constraints. The Department believes that best practices include housing inmates in the least restrictive settings necessary to ensure their own safety, as well as the safety of staff, other inmates, and the public; and ensuring that restrictions on an inmate’s housing serve a specific penological purpose and are imposed for no longer than necessary to achieve that purpose. When officials determine that an inmate must be segregated from the general population, that inmate should be housed in safe, humane conditions that, ideally, prepare the individual for reintegration into both the general prison population and society at large. The stakes are high. Life in restrictive housing has been well-documented—by inmates, advocates and, on occasion, correctional officials themselves. In some systems, the conditions can be severe; the social isolation, extreme. At its worst, and when applied without regard to basic standards of decency, restrictive housing can cause serious, long-lasting harm. It is the responsibility of all governments to ensure that this practice is used only as necessary—and never as a default solution. But just as we must consider the impact on inmates, so too must we consider the impact on correctional staff. These public servants work hard, often for long hours and under difficult conditions, and we must protect them from unreasonable danger. Correctional officers need effective tools to manage the most challenging inmates and protect the most vulnerable. We do not believe that the humane treatment of inmates and the safety of correctional staff are mutually exclusive; indeed, neither is possible without the other. In recent years, numerous correctional systems have succeeded in safely reducing the number of inmates in restrictive housing, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Over the past four years, the total number of inmates in the Bureau’s restrictive housing units has declined by nearly a quarter. Under the leadership of its outgoing Director, Charles E. Samuels, Jr., the Bureau has also developed a range of progressive alternatives to restrictive housing—and has done so while supporting and enhancing staff safety. This Report includes a number of additional policy proposals that would help continue the downward trends in the Bureau’s restrictive housing population, while also ensuring that those placed in segregation receive the support and rehabilitative services they need" (p. 1-2). This report is divided into three parts. Part One—Restrictive Housing in the Federal Bureau of Prisons: overview of restrictive housing in the United States; Special Housing Units (SHU); Special Management Units (SMU); USP Administrative Maximum (ADX); Bureau Inmates Requiring Special Considerations; Inmates with Serious Mental Illness (SMI); Inmates with Medical Needs; Young Adults (Age 18-24 at Time of Conviction); Juveniles (Under 18 at Time of Adjudication); and Audits of the Bureau's Restrictive Housing Programs ()CAN Audit, GAO Audit, and BOP Internal Audits). Part Two—Restrictive Housing in Other Correctional and Detention Systems: United States Marshals Service (USMS); Restrictive Housing in the States; Federal Support for State and Local Efforts; Federal Civil Rights Enforcement; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Part Three—Guiding Principles and Policy Recommendations: Guiding Principles; Policy Recommendations for the Bureau of Prisons, National Institute of Corrections (NIC), and the U.S. Office of Justice Programs (OJP)—Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ); and Additional Policy Recommendation for Diverting Inmates with Serious Mental Illness from Incarceration. Documents making up the appendix are organized into Federal Bureau of Prison's Program Statements, Institution Supplements, audits and reports, and other documents.

U.S. Department of Justice Report and Recommendations Concerning the Use of Restrictive Housing Cover

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Extra Information

Publication Year: 
2016
Length: 
814 pages (Report - 128 pages, Appendix - 675 pages, Guiding Principles - 11 pages)