Restricting the Use of Solitary Confinement for Prisoners in NJ

New Jersey could become one of the first states in the country to restrict the use of solitary confinement for prisoners in its state and county corrections facilities, if a bill approved by both houses of the state Legislature is signed by Gov. Chris Christie.

The Department of Corrections says 1,258 state prisoners were in restricted housing, which includes all forms of close or isolated confinement, as of October 18, down from 1,604 in 2014. Figures for county jails are not available. Solitary is used both as a protective measure — to remove inmates who are a danger to guards or other prisoners from the general population — and as punishment for bad behavior, according to advocates and corrections officials.