Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Administrative Segregation in U.S. Prisons

Administrative Segregation in U.S. Prisons

Frost, Natasha A. and Carlos E. Monteiro. “Administrative Segregation in U.S. Prisons.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, March 2016. NCJ 249749.

This paper gives an overview of the use of administrative segregation in the United States, and examines its utility and effects, issues related to its use, and relevant court decisions and consent decrees. It briefly reviews existing literature on the effects of segregation or solitary confinement, and identifies gaps in knowledge that can inform future research and funding priorities.

The report concludes: “Notwithstanding the many gaps in the research base, the most important research going forward will be that which can lead to a substantial reduction in the need for solitary confinement through administrative segregation. It is incumbent on researchers and correctional administrators to work together to identify viable alternatives that can ensure institutional and public safety without compromising the occupational well-being of the correctional employees or the psychological well-being of the inmates in the care of departments of correction.”

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Keywords: prevalence of administrative segregation, restrictive housing, psychological effects, mental health effects, literature review, meta-analysis, research, empirical evidence, data, uses of segregation, utility of segregation, effects of segregation, Administrative Segregation in US Prisons