Can Prisons Find Alternatives to Solitary?

A pilot program in Virginia led to a reduction in the number of individuals held in restrictive housing between 2016 and 2018, and offers some lessons in how correctional authorities can re-think the use of solitary confinement for inmates, according to a Vera Institute study.

Leann Bertsch

North Dakota Changes the Rules on Solitary

In a response to the growing consensus that the practice of solitary confinement  is cruel and ineffective, North Dakota has reduced the number of infractions that sends prisoners into isolation—and has changed how inmates are treated if they are sent into “administrative segregation.” The reforms came after a visit by Leann Bertsch, the state’s prison chief, to Norway.


Solitary Used More Often for Inmates with Mental Illness: Study

The odds that mentally troubled prisoners will be sent to solitary confinement for misconduct are 36 percent higher than for those without mental illness, according to a University of Massachusetts study of data from a 2004 national survey.