Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Webinar: Reducing Isolation in Youth Facilities

Alternative Behavior Management Tools

Webinar: Reducing Isolation in Youth Facilities


Reducing the Use of Segregation in Correctional Facilities: Lessons from the Field


Webinar 1: Using Assessment to Drive Reform

This webinar was presented on March 31, 2016. You can watch the recording of the webinar, download the webinar PowerPoint, and access related resources, below.



This is the first in a series of webinars presented by the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative. The purpose of the series is to highlight reforms to segregated housing (also referred to as restrictive housing or solitary confinement) being implemented by corrections agencies across the country.

The first webinar examines the benefits of reducing the use of segregation in a corrections system, discusses what a system interested in reforming this practice needs to know to get started, and features reduction strategies implemented by two corrections departments.

Dr. Léon Digard of the Vera Institute of Justice outlines the process of assessing a system to better understand how segregation is used in facilities. Executive Deputy Secretary Shirley Moore Smeal discusses what the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections learned from using this process and how they have translated that knowledge into a practical plan for reducing segregation. Secretary Gregg Marcantel then describes the reforms that the New Mexico Corrections Department has implemented to dramatically reduce their segregated population.

An update from the U.S. Department of Justice is given by Julie James, Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance. Closing remarks are delivered by Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice, and Opportunity at the White House Domestic Policy Council.


Featured Speakers:

Gregg Marcantel, Secretary, New Mexico Corrections Department
Shirley Moore Smeal, Executive Deputy Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Dr. Léon Digard, Senior Research Associate, Vera Institute of Justice
Remarks by: Julie James, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice; and Roy L. Austin, Jr., Deputy Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs, Justice, and Opportunity, White House Domestic Policy Council
Moderated by: Sara Sullivan, Project Manager, Vera Institute of Justice


Related Resources:

– Pennsylvania: Click here to read the Vera Institute of Justice’s report, Segregation Reduction Project Findings and Recommendations: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections Use of Segregation (2015).

– New Mexico: For a brief case study of the New Mexico Corrections Department’s reforms, download “Case Study – New Mexico” below.