RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina prison officials over the past year have cut the number of inmates in solitary confinement in half.
The News & Observer of Raleigh reports about 5,330 of the state’s 38,000 prisoners — 1 in 7 — were kept in isolation on any given day. This month, that number was down to 2,540.
State prison Commissioner David Guice says his goal is to end the state’s heavy use of solitary confinement, a punishment that he says is linked with an increase in assaults on staff members.
Guice says other states that are moving away from solitary have seen assault numbers decline.
The state prison system was one of five in the country chosen last spring to participate in a two-year study to reduce the use of solitary confinement.