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Criminal Justice and Behavior
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 36  |  Issue: 10  |  Page No.: 1037 - 1050

Beyond Supermax Administrative Segregation: Mississippi's Experience Rethinking Prison Classification and Creating Alternative Mental Health Programs

T. A Kupers, T Dronet, M Winter, J Austin, L Kelly, W Cartier, T. J Morris, S. F Hanlon, E. L Sparkman, P Kumar, L. C Vincent, J Norris, K Nagel and J. Mcbride    


Litigation in Mississippi required the Department of Corrections to ameliorate substandard conditions at the supermaximum Unit 32 of Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, remove prisoners with serious mental illness from administrative segregation and provide them with adequate treatment, and reexamine the entire classification system. Pursuant to two federal consent decrees, the Department of Corrections greatly reduced the population in administrative segregation and established a step-down mental health treatment unit for the prisoners excluded from administrative segregation. This article describes and discusses not only the process of enacting the changes but also the outcomes, including the large reductions in rates of misconduct, violence, and use of force.

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