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Establishing Key Facts About Restrictive Housing—A Systems-Level Descriptive Analysis of Restrictive Housing and the Implications for Theory, Research, and Policy

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Dated: 2023
Joshua C. Cochran; John Wooldredge; Claudia N. Anderson; Joshua S. Long
Date Published
32 pages

This paper presents the authors’ research into the usage of restrictive housing and the prevalence and trends in the use of the most routine forms of restrictive housing in Ohio prisons over the course of nine years.


Concerns about restrictive housing are motivated in part by the assumption that as prison systems expanded and became more punitive, restrictive housing became overly routine. Limited empirical research exists, however, that quantifies its usage. The goal of this paper is twofold. First, the authors argue that a more detailed understanding of restrictive housing usage is required to advance theory, research, and evidence-based policy. Second, they bring data to bear on questions about the prevalence and trends in the use of the most routine forms of restrictive housing in Ohio prisons. The authors analyze nine years of event history data to develop an empirical portrait of its use across the system and over time; they track how many individuals are placed and how long they are placed; they also examine variation across facility characteristics. They conclude the paper with a discussion focused on extending this work to investigate restrictive housing usage and impacts. Publisher Abstract Provided