U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Using Restrictive Housing to Manage Gangs in US Prisons

NCJ Number
251797
Date Published
Author(s)
David C. Pyrooz
Publication Series
NIJ Update
Annotation
This article summarizes key findings from a chapter entitled “Gang Affiliation and Restrictive Housing in U.S. Prisons,” in the NIJ-published volume, “Restrictive Housing in the United States: Issues, Challenges, and Future Directions.“
Abstract
Evidence from several prison systems indicates that gang-affiliated inmates are over-represented in restrictive housing. It is not clear whether this circumstance is due to their need for protection, discipline for misconduct, or the perceived threat associated with their gang membership. A review of the relevant evidence suggests that the justification for the large-scale placement of gang-affiliated inmates in restrictive housing is limited; however, the available evidence suggests that restrictive housing may reduce inmate rule violations. A positive move toward jointly reducing the influence of gangs in prisons and the over-use of restrictive housing consists of a system that specifies the incentive-based steps that can move an inmate in restrictive housing into the prison general population. Another promising effort is to provide treatment-based efforts that promote renouncement of gang ties. Such programs, however, must be accompanied by rigorous, scientific evaluation. Such an effort can be facilitated by establishing mutually beneficial researcher-practitioner partnerships that lead to the design, implementation, and evaluation of promising efforts to reduce the influence of gangs in prisons. Using research to develop data-driven policies will facilitate better-informed decisions about the use of restrictive housing for gang-affiliated inmates.
Date Created: June 28, 2018