In recent years, Texas has successfully reduced the use of prolonged solitary confinement, and further implementation of best practices can continue this progress consistent with safety inside and outside prisons.

Key points:

  • Texas prisons have historically relied on solitary confinement to promote order and safety, but growing research and recent experience suggest that there are often less damaging alternatives to prolonged solitary confinement.
  • Texas has made remarkable progress over the last decade in cutting admissions to solitary confinement and eliminating the practice of discharging individuals directly from solitary confinement to society, but Texas continues to far outstrip other states in the number of people kept in solitary for several years or more.
  • Texas should build on recent progress by expanding efforts to gradually step down individuals in long-term isolation to a lower custody level while also increasing the use of technology to provide educational programming for those who remain in solitary confinement.