Research summary: Recommended Changes for Supermax Prisons

Dec 31, 2014

This referenced position paper recommends changes to secure housing units (SHUs, also known as supermaximum “supermax” custody units) and treatment of prisoners based on a literature review (including case law) that examined the psychological and physical effects of solitary confinement on prisoners, especially those with mental illness.

This research summary, prepared by the AIA Academy of Architecture for Justice (AAJ) in 2014, is adapted from:
Author: Bruce A. Arrigo and Jennifer Leslie Bullock, Department of Criminal Justice, The University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Article Title: The Psychological Effects of Solitary Confinement on Prisoners in Supermax Units: Reviewing What We Know and Recommending What Should Change
Publisher: Sage
Publication: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Publication Type: Refereed Journal
Date of Publication: November 2007
Volume: 52
Issue: 6
Pages: 622-640

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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