Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Melissa Lundquist


Social Work


The use of solitary confinement practices in correctional facilities has come under scrutiny for subjecting individuals to environments with potentially detrimental psychosocial implications. Through a systematic review of the literature, this research project explored modifications that have been made to solitary confinement practices in U.S. adult correctional facilities and the resulting effects of those modifications. The findings found three themes in the approaches institutions took to modify their solitary confinement practices: modifying the solitary confinement environment, transitional programs, and a complete overhaul of solitary confinement practices. All outcome data found over the course of the research study documented positive effects resulting from the solitary confinement modification. This suggests that positive changes can be enacted by no-cost or low-cost measures in addition to large scale institutional reform. Literature shows that the solitary confinement reform movement continues to grow and we should not be afraid to think creatively for ways to modify solitary confinement practices. Big change can be possible, even with small steps.

Included in

Social Work Commons