Chesapeake PSR

"Restrictive housing" bill passes Maryland legislature

Peace and Social JusticeLydia Sullivan

A bill to provide more public information on “restrictive housing” (solitary confinement) in prisons has passed both houses of the Maryland General Assembly. Restrictive housing is defined in the bill as “physical separation in which the inmate is placed in a locked room or cell for… 22 hours or more out of a 24-hour period.”

Chesapeake PSR testified in support of HB 1180, which requires the state to issue an annual report including numbers and demographics on inmates placed in restrictive housing, average and median lengths of stay, deaths and self-harm incidents, pregnancies, and numbers of inmates with “serious mental illness.” The state also must publish the information on the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention website.

Correctional Services – Restrictive Housing – Report is “an excellent reporting bill that sheds light on detention centers in the State of Maryland and the practice of restrictive housing,” said Jamellah Brown, chief of staff to Del. Jill Carter of Baltimore, the bill’s sponsor.