A special report by the U.S. Department of Justice has revealed that 20% of inmates in federal and state prisons and 18% in local jails spend time in restrictive housing over the course of a year—whether in solitary confinement or other forms of isolation which may or may not be punitive.
The report, which relies on data from the 2011-12 National Inmate Survey, found that inmates were more likely to be held in restrictive housing if they were younger, if they held less than a high school diploma, and if they were gay, lesbian or bisexual.
Inmates who had any indication of past mental health problems were almost twice as likely to have spent time in restrictive housing than their peers who did not.
The data in the survey represents 91,177 adult inmates from 233 state and federal prisons and 357 local jails.
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