Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Behind the Eleventh Door – One Year Later

One Year Later

Behind the Eleventh Door – One Year Later

Disability Rights Oregon. Behind the Eleventh Door One Year Later: DRO’s First Annual Report – Progress to Improve Conditions at the Behavioral Health Unit of the Oregon State Penitentiary. Portland, OR, April 2017.



“On May 1, 2015, Disability Rights Oregon issued Behind the Eleventh Door, a report that documented its yearlong investigation of conditions in the Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) at the Oregon State Penitentiary. We concluded that the Unit had devolved into a hopeless and dysfunctional program where roughly 40 of the most severely mentally ill individuals who are incarcerated in Oregon prisons spent 23 hours a day (or more) in tiny, stifling, Lexan-covered cells.


In addition to describing the conditions that BHU residents endured, our report identified causes and made a number of recommendations for changes that would be necessary to restore the Unit to its intended purpose: to provide practically effective mental health treatment in a humane and safe environment. The Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) strenuously objected to our assessment that many of the problems in the BHU were attributable to a culture that marginalized the concerns of the Unit’s clinicians in favor of overly overzealous security measures. Nevertheless, the Department agreed with our central assessment that conditions in the Unit had reached a point that demanded change.”


Click here to view the report.



Keywords: people with disabilities, disciplinary segregation, administrative segregation, restrictive housing, restricted housing, segregation, segregated housing, isolation, torture, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), discrimination, segregated housing and mental health