Survey responses of state-level jurisdictions and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP)
Proportion of incarcerated population in solitary confinement for 15+ days
(in most recent reporting year)
Click a state/jurisdiction above to view its data, or
Scroll to view aggregate data for all jurisdictions
Figures from 35 reporting jurisdictions (of 52)
When asked about people held in isolated cells for 22 hours per day for at least 15 continuous days,
The 32 jurisdictions that continued to use solitary confinement reported:
Estimate for all jurisdictions
The study estimates that, in 2021, U.S. prisons held a total of 41,000-48,000 people in solitary confinement for 22 hours per day for 15 or more continuous days.
In 2021, thirty-four reporting jurisdictions indicated that 25,083 people in their prisons were isolated for an average of 22 hours or more per day for fifteen days or more. Three of those 34 jurisdictions reported holding no one in solitary confinement at the point they took the survey in 2021. We estimate that 41,000 to 48,000 people were in solitary confinement throughout the United States in 2021, including in jurisdictions that did not participate in the 2021 CLA-Liman Survey.
Solitary confinement across all reporting jurisdictions
The number of people reported in solitary confinement (22 hours on average or more for fifteen days or more) measured from fifteen days to six years or more has decreased since 2015.
Solitary confinement by length of confinement: data from 34 reporting jurisdictions
In women’s prisons in the United States in 2021, the percentage of Black people in restrictive housing was greater than the percentage of Black people in the total prison population.
Solitary confinement by race and ethnicity: data from 34 reporting jurisdictions
In 2021, a higher percentage of people age 25 and younger were in solitary confinement than people in older age groups.
Solitary confinement by age: data from 24 reporting jurisdictions
In 2021, all thirty-two jurisdictions responding to the question reported holding no pregnant people in solitary confinement.
Pregnant people in solitary confinement across all reporting jurisdictions
In 2021, responding jurisdictions reported holding 293 transgender people in restrictive housing.
Transgender people in solitary confinement across all reporting jurisdictions
The definition of "serious mental illness" differs across jurisdictions. Learn more.
|Total Custodial Population||Restrictive Housing|
|Jurisdiction||Male||Male %||Female||Female %||Male||Male %||Female||Female %|
|Delaware||543||19.5%||57||59.4%||0||No RH||0||No RH|
|North Dakota||153||10.5%||63||33.2%||0||No RH||0||No RH|
|New York||1,765||5.7%||129||10.5%||9||6.4%||0||No RH|
|South Dakota||105||3.6%||49||10.7%||0||0.0%||0||No RH|
|Vermont||43||4.1%||2||2.3%||0||No RH||0||No RH|
**In response to Question 33, which asked for the numbers of male and female imprisoned people “classified as seriously mentally ill by your jurisdiction’s definition” in total custodial population and in restrictive housing, Oklahoma indicated that there were six men and three women with serious mental illness in restrictive housing. However, Oklahoma’s responses to Questions 35 and 37, which asked about the races/ethnicities and ages of people with serious mental illness in restrictive housing, indicated that there were three men and six women with serious mental illness in restrictive housing. Given that Oklahoma also indicated, in response to multiple questions, that it held a total of five women in restrictive housing, this Report treats Oklahoma’s responses to Questions 35 and 37 as intending to indicate that there were six men and three women with serious mental illness in restrictive housing.
The rules listed are the formal, reported policies that do not necessarily translate into the actual lived experiences of people in solitary confinement.