An important discretionary tool in maintaining safety and security is solitary confinement. Solitary confinement is a highly effective tool needed and utilized by jail and prison administrators. This allows for the separation of inmates who have demonstrated,through their actions,that they pose a threat to the safety of inmates,staff and the public. Administrators have no option but to isolate inmates who continue to engage in criminal activities while being incarcerated.
It was forty years ago this summer that I began working in local corrections in Alabama. At that time,there was an emerging concern about lack of standards,guidelines,policies,etc.,to guide local jail officials. This concern,coupled with an absence of formal training,led to a search for solutions. Prompting that search was the growing amount of litigation against local jails.
It’s been a few years since the United States Supreme Court announced their controversial decision ruling that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry1. The court ruled 5-4 that the Constitution’s guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law mean that states cannot ban same-sex marriages. The landmark ruling made gay marriage legal in all 50 states.