While all prison systems typically have some form of administrative segregation, Texas relies on its maximum custody status more than others. Direct comparisons are difficult; however, the most recent national count, in 2005, showed 2.7 percent of state inmates were on administrative segregation. Although the number in Texas prisons has been dropping slowly since 2006, the percentage here has been about 5.5 percent.
Last week, largely in response to concerns raised by mental health advocates, legislators ordered a detailed analysis of Texas’s use of administrative segregation, including recommendations on reducing its use and the amount of time offenders stay. “Very little is known about conditions in administrative segregation and how these conditions affect its population,” said state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, the bill’s author.
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