Texas looking to reduce solitary confinement time

Travis County Correctional Complex. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas prison administrators are considering policy changes that could result in fewer inmates serving long periods of time in solitary confinement.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston tells the Austin American-Statesman the agency is exploring ways to enable some of its most dangerous prisoners to be removed from what’s known as administrative segregation. That classification allows inmates only one hour out of their cells each day.

About 7,000 of the some 150,000 prisoners fall into that category now, but that’s down almost 30 percent in recent years. Livingston is hopeful that extending successful inmate treatment programs to the administrative segregation prisoners could reduce that population.

Statistics show the Texas prisoners average just under two years in solitary.

Other states also have trimmed their solitary confinement numbers.

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