Laws of Minnesota 2019, 1st Spec. Sess. chapter 5, article 3, section 10
On June 14, 2019, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed into law a bill (SF 8) to reform how the state treats its incarcerated people in disciplinary and administrative segregation. The bill calls for the conditions of segregation to approximate those in the general population. Under this law, incarcerated people in segregation will also receive daily wellness checks, and those in segregation showing signs of serious mental illness will receive psychological screening. Incarcerated people can also earn privileges—including the ability to transition back to the general population more quickly—through good behavior. The new legislation also prohibits the Minnesota Department of Corrections from releasing incarcerated people into the community directly from segregation. The law also outlines specific data concerning the department’s restrictive housing population that must be reported to the state legislature by January 2020, and every year after.
This new law is a part of a set of sweeping public safety and corrections reforms passed by the legislature, including funding to hire 78 new correctional officers. The practices defined in the law will be the first guidelines on the books specifically regarding segregation in the state.
*A full list of the guidelines for disciplinary and administrative segregation can be found in Sec. 10. [243.521].
Keywords: solitary confinement, administrative housing, disciplinary segregation, mental health, legislation.