Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Solitary Confinement in the Pelican State

Solitary Confinement in the Pelican State

This report from the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Crime campaign provides a brief history and overview of the current use of restrictive housing in Louisiana—a state with historically high incarceration rates and high use of restrictive housing for men.

The article highlights significant litigation and legislation governing the use of restrictive housing and efforts the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections to reform its use. The author briefly notes the potential psychological, physical, and economic impacts of segregation and offers recommendations for reform, including:

  • Adopt a unified definition for “solitary confinement;”
  • End the practice of releasing incarcerated people directly from administrative segregation into the community;
  • Train correctional staff in de-escalation techniques that focus on alternative responses to disciplinary infractions;
  • Create a quarterly report on the population in segregation, such as their facility, length of stay in segregation, and cumulative time in segregation since entering DOC custody, and the estimated annual cost for the use of administrative segregation;
  • Pass legislation to create a Solitary Confinement Task Force to review the corrections department’s administrative segregation policies, correctional officer de-escalation training, disciplinary process, and segregation’s effectiveness and propose legislative and policy changes.

Click here to view the article.

Click here to read the press release.

Keywords: LDPSC, LADOC, LA DOC, extended lockdown, infraction, ASCA-Liman, HR 1, Act 140, The Angola 3, Angola Three, transparency, reporting, direct release, Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative.