More Than Emptying Beds: A Systems Approach to Segregation Reform

BJA-squareSegregation in correctional facilities has been and will continue to be a tool that is necessary to manage legitimate safety concerns. Reforms in the use of this practice will only be successful if the safety of people who are incarcerated and corrections staff is maintained or improved in the process. To impact the health and well-being of people under correctional control, reducing the use of segregation on its own by only “emptying beds” is of limited value. To make an impactful change, a systems approach to this complex issue is essential. This policy brief from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance shares lessons from the systems approach to reform undertaken by the Washington Department of Corrections.