Center on Sentencing and Corrections

The Impacts of Solitary Confinement

The Impacts of Solitary Confinement

Kayla James and Elena Vanko. The Impacts of Solitary Confinement. New York: Vera Institute of Justice, 2021.

This evidence brief provides an overview of the vast body of research on the harmful impacts of solitary confinement on incarcerated people, corrections staff, and the broader community. It can cause or exacerbate mental illness, negatively impact families, and be physically and mentally taxing for staff who work there. Research also indicates that it does not significantly reduce misconduct, violence, or recidivism—and may actually decrease institutional and public safety.

This evidence underscores the urgent need for corrections and government leaders to reduce and ultimately end the use of solitary confinement in prisons, jails, and detention centers across the country.

Click here to view the evidence brief.


Keywords: impacts of segregation, effects of segregation, effects of solitary confinement, impacts of restrictive housing, effects of restrictive housing, research studies, impacts on mental health, impacts on health, impacts on behavior, impacts on staff, impacts on corrections officers, psychological impacts, neurological impacts, impacts on the brain, impacts on children of incarcerated parents, impacts on families, impacts on public safety, impacts on safety, impacts on recidivism, impacts on reoffending, women, youth, juveniles, serious mental illness, people with disabilities, immigration detention, racial disparities, LGBT, LGBTQ, transgender people