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For years debate has rumbled in this country over prison overcrowding. More recently, there has been an additional spotlight on issues that are exacerbated when prisons are over capacity, such as prison rape and the use of restrictive housing (housing inmates in isolated conditions). In the case of prison rape, federal standards have been placed on institutions through the passage of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). General consensus among corrections professionals is that a lack of internal action diminished their voice during the creation of the PREA standards. There is consequently a large motivation for correctional institutions to work to address concerns regarding restrictive housing. Groups like Amnesty International, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Association of State Correctional Administrators have all been contributing to this effort by each creating their own guidelines for using restrictive housing.



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