Solitary confinement is a major pillar of criminal justice reform. As a punishment often outweighing the violation and impacting psyches years after it has ended, activists have held hunger strikes, filed class-action lawsuits and testified before the Senate in opposition to the practice. In order to balance against cases where solitary confinement is undue due to mental illness, or perhaps necessary due to physical attacks, prisons in Michigan have implemented a series of incentives to move men from solitary to lower-security status.
“Since it began in 2009, Alger’s Incentives in Segregation program has allowed the prison to transform one of its three 88-men segregation wings into a general-population wing. The program has spread to multiple prisons in the state, and the daily average number of Michigan prisoners in administrative segregation has dropped by nearly 20 percent, from 1,204 in 2008 to 982 in 2013.”
Learn more about this reform at Alger Correctional Facility here.