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Konrad Franco, Caitlin Patler, and Keramet Reiters Have a New Paper

"Punishing Status and the Punishment Status Quo: Solitary Confinement in U.S. Immigration Detention Facilities, 2013-2017" featured by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalists.

solitary confinement

Photo credit:  https://www.icij.org/

Konrad Franco (PhD student, UC Davis Sociology), Caitlin Patler (Assistant Professor, UC Davis Sociology), and Keramet Reiter (Associate Professor, UC Irvine Criminology, Law, and Society) have released a new paper, "Punishing Status and the Punishment Status Quo: Solitary Confinement in U.S. Immigration Detention Facilities, 2013-2017." Their work provides the first systematic, national-level analysis of administrative records of solitary confinement placements—not only in immigration detention, but in any carceral setting. The work has recently been featured in an article by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICJI).

They examine patterns in who experiences solitary confinement in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, as well as the stated reason for, and length of, their confinement. The authors reveal several findings. First, cases involving individuals with mental illnesses are overrepresented, more likely to occur without infraction, and to last longer, compared to cases involving individuals without mental illnesses. Second, solitary confinement cases involving immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are over-represented in comparison to the share of these groups in the overall detained population, and African immigrants are more likely to be confined for disciplinary reasons, compared to the average. Finally, placement patterns vary significantly by facility and institution type, with private facilities more likely to solitarily confine people without infraction, compared to public facilities. This work offers a lens through which to more precisely theorize the legal boundary-blurring of crimmigration and the relationship between prison and immigration detention policies, to better understand the practice of solitary confinement across carceral contexts, and to analyze the relationship between national-level policy and on the-ground implementation.

Read the full paper.  

Read the ICIJ news article