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Examining Race and Gender Disparities in Restrictive Housing Placements

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 2018
24 pages

Using administrative records on all inmates released from prison in a large state between 2011 and 2014 (N=33,143), this study examined racial and ethnic disparities in men's and women's placements in any prison segregation; placement in particular types of segregation (administrative segregation, disciplinary, or mental health segregation); the length of time spent in segregation; and the reasons given for these placements.


Given that multiple housing placements were recorded for each inmate (N=124,942), multi-level modeling procedures were used (hierarchical logistic regression and hierarchical negative binomial regression). Overall, the study found significant racial and ethnic disparities in restrictive housing placements for men and women, compared to legally relevant and administratively relevant factors and other inmate characteristics. Native-American men were more likely than White men to be placed in any segregation, disciplinary segregation, and administrative segregation. Latinos and Black men had lower odds for placement into any segregation and disciplinary segregation compared to White men. Native-American men and Latinos spent more days in any segregation and administrative segregation when placed there, compared to White men in these types of segregation. Latinos in disciplinary segregation also experienced long placements, and Blacks' disciplinary segregation placements were shorter than those for Whites. Latinas were less likely than Whites to be placed in mental health segregation. Routine operations, such as custody reclassification, lateral transfers, and inmate population adjustments, were the most commonly cited reasons for restrictive housing placement across race/ethnicity and sex. This report recommends further examination of findings pertaining to the restrictive housing placement of Native-Americans. The researchers do not know of any other study to date that has examined restrictive placements of Native-Americans. 4 tables, 2 figures, and 39 references

Date Published: August 1, 2018