“Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among Jail Inmates,” American Journal of Public Health

01 Mar “Solitary Confinement and Risk of Self-Harm Among Jail Inmates,” American Journal of Public Health

Researchers from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the agency responsible for providing healthcare to people incarcerated in NYC jails, analyzed data from 244,699 incarcerations in the NYC jail system from January 1, 2010, through January 31, 2013. The study found that individuals incarcerated in the NYC jails who were “punished by solitary confinement were approximately 6.9 times as likely to commit acts of self-harm.” Only 7.3% of jail admissions included any solitary confinement sentence, yet “53.3% of acts of self-harm and 45% of acts of potentially fatal self-harm occurred within this group.” These findings are an indictment of the use of solitary confinement. The practice continues in the City jails although recent reforms are in place. The Board must vigilantly monitor the reforms to ensure that harmful effects of isolation are truly eliminated.

Read the Full Report HERE: AJPH.2013