Core Strategies to Reduce Room Confinement


Many state and county facilities have reduced or eliminated solitary. Some of the steps officials have taken to achieve this goal include:

  • Providing strong leadership on this issue by agency directors and facility administrators;
  • Adopting clear policies that prohibit room confinement as discipline, punishment, or retaliation;
  • Developing an institutional culture where staff see room confinement as an intervention used very limitedly;
  • Providing staff with training and resources including trauma, conflict resolution, and de-escalation;
  • Keeping staffing ratios to allow staff to engage youth and prevent and respond to behavioral disruptions;
  • Ensuring that staff use less restrictive options before resorting to room confinement;
  • Developing alternative sanctions as well as rewards and incentives for good behavior;
  • Prohibiting the use of solitary confinement for fixed periods of time, even brief;
  • Collaborating with qualified mental health professionals for youth, including when in room confinement;
  • Requiring supervisor approval in all cases where staff use room confinement;
  • Using data to manage, monitor and provide accountability for the use of room confinement.

Read our Fact Sheet on Core Strategies or read more about resources for facility administrators and staff. You can also read more about individual states that reduced room confinement.