Vera Institute of Justice has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for corrections departments in search of safe alternatives to segregation, also referred to as solitary confinement.
Solitary confinement is a controversial and often debated topic in the realm of juvenile justice as teens that are segregated often experience mental health and behavioral problems—as well as a higher rate of recidivism upon release.
In the spotlight this year regarding its practices of solitary confinement was Rikers Island. Conditions at Rikers have been described as “horrific” and were condemned by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York this August, who stated that the use of solitary confinement for youths was “excessive and inappropriate.”
There is growing nation-wide support to eliminate solitary confinement entirely as evidence suggests it is an expensive and counterproductive policy for facilities and public safety.
Vera Institute of Justice, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, is now offering five state or local corrections systems a chance to explore and implement an alternative to solitary confinement as part of its new Safe Alternatives to Segregation (SAS) Initiative.
The goals of the initiative include the following:
- Assist states and counties in reducing their use of segregation;
- Develop, demonstrate, and evaluate alternatives to disciplinary, administrative, and protective custody segregation;
- Raise awareness across all correctional institutions nationwide—prisons and jails—of alternatives to segregation;
- Conduct evaluations and impact studies and make their findings known across the corrections field; and
- Produce practitioner-focused guides to implementing alternative practices.
The SAS initiative expands on Vera’s Segregation Reduction Project, which has worked with corrections departments since 2010 in states including Washington, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania to reduce reliance on segregation.
Applications will be accepted through Jan. 30, 2015. To learn more about the SAS initiative, including the full RFP and guidelines to submitting an application, visit Vera’s website.
Image from the Vera website
Topics: Juvenile Justice Reform
Updated: February 08 2018