How Much Time U.S. Prisoners Spend in Solitary


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How Much Time U.S. Prisoners Spend in Solitary

byBill Rockwood Evan Wexler and Sarah Childress

The United States is alone among Western nations in its widespread use of solitary confinement in prison — what mental-health experts define as keeping an inmate locked down for 22 hours a day or more in a cell, with limited contact with others.

Most corrections officials don’t call it solitary. They refer instead to punitive segregation, which typically has a time limit, usually 30 days or less, for violating prison rules — and administrative segregation, also known as restricted housing or special housing units. “Ad seg” is used to isolate gang members or those with a history of assaulting others, but often those in protective custody or with mental-health problems, and in some states, juveniles, end up there, too…

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