Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Promising Practices

Revised disciplinary policy


North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

Brief Summary

The North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (NDDOCR) reduced their segregation population by implementing several reforms, including limiting infractions that made someone eligible for disciplinary segregation to violent incidents.

The Goal

The goal of this policy change was to reduce intakes into disciplinary segregation.

The Process

Previously, NDDOCR had seen a drastic increase in its prison population, and use of restrictive housing had risen in response. However, the department saw no difference in institutional safety, and made efforts to reduce their reliance on administrative segregation.

On a trip put together by the US-European Criminal Justice Innovation Program, NDDOCR administrators visited correctional facilities in Norway and studied their alternatives to segregation. Inspired by the Norwegian model of trying to normalize life in prison as much as possible, and the research demonstrating the potential harmful impacts of segregation, NDDOCR officials set out to reform this practice in their system. These reforms began in 2015.

The Solution

NDDOCR limited the behaviors that made someone eligible for time in restrictive housing.

Related Documents

This Promising Practices section of the SAS Resource Center was developed as part of a collaborative effort with the Vera Institute of Justice, University of Michigan Law School, and Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights. We are also deeply grateful to the many leaders across the country who created and implemented each of the reforms cited throughout this section for their efforts to reduce the use of restrictive housing in prisons and jails across the country.

Please note that Vera and our partners do not specifically endorse the practices and policies included in this section. The Promising Practices section features segregation reforms being implemented in prisons and jails around the country. Our goal is to serve as a resource to other jail and prison systems interested in implementing similar practices and policies by highlighting those jurisdictions that report successful reforms.