Research summary: Alternatives to Isolating Prisoners with Severe Mental Illness

Dec 31, 2014

A study was conducted at the Mississippi State Penitentiary to determine the effect of the use of a court-ordered, step-down treatment unit for prisoners with serious mental illness (SMI) and implementation of a new prisoner classification system. The intent of the two changes was to reduce the number of prisoners placed in administrative segregation (isolation) versus the general population.

This research summary, prepared by the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) in 2014, is adapted from:
Author: Terry A. Kupers, MD, MSP, Wright Institute, Berkley, CA; Theresa Dronet, Wexford Health Sources; Margaret Winter, National Prison Project of the American Civil Liberties Union; James Austin, JFA Institute; Lawrence Kelly, Mississippi Department of Corrections; William Cartier, Wexford Health Sources; Timothy J. Morris, Mississippi Department of Corrections; Stephen F. Hanlon, Holland & Knight, LLP; Emmitt L. Sparkman, Mississippi Department of Corrections; Parveen Kumar, Wexford Health Sources; Leonard C. Vincent and Jim Norris, Mississippi Department of Corrections; and Kim Nagel and Jennifer McBride, Wexford Health Sources
Article Title: Beyond Supermax Administrative Segregation: Mississippi’s Experience Rethinking Prison Classification and Creating Alternative Mental Health Programs
Publisher: Sage
Publication: Criminal Justice and Behavior
Publication Type: Refereed Journal
Date of Publication: July 2009
Volume: 36
Issue: 10
Pages: 1037-1050

Caren Martin (Martin & Guerin Design Research, LLC)
Denise Guerin (Martin & Guerin Design Research, LLC)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
The American Institute of Architects

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