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CJI recently wrapped up a new virtual instructor-led training called Restrictive Housing: Change Strategies for Success, developed for the National Institute of Corrections (NIC).

Participants in the pilot included two teams from jail systems and two teams from prison systems consisting of agency or facility leadership; mental health leadership; and representatives from security, programs, and classification. Team members were selected based on knowledge of their agency’s restrictive housing policies, practices, and populations and their ability to influence or facilitate policy change. Over the course of five weeks, participants met once a week for 2-hour training sessions. Between sessions, teams completed assignments specific to their agency and had access to coaches for assistance. The curriculum content and team homework formed the basis of each team’s final product: a presentation of their proposal to implement restrictive housing improvements within their agency.

The participants returned to their respective agencies prepared to deliver their proposals to leadership. This substantive deliverable, in combination with the course’s virtual format, offered a novel approach to affecting industry-wide change.

“The training evaluations for the pilot were overwhelmingly positive,” said CJI director Barbara Pierce. “Participants indicated that the training opened their minds, and they found the networking opportunity and hearing from other agencies insightful and interesting.”


Overall, the course provided participating teams an opportunity to:

  • Increase their knowledge of restrictive housing practices,
  • Practice assessing organizational readiness for change,
  • Identify strategies to reduce the use of restrictive housing admissions and length of stay, and
  • Create a proposal to implement a restrictive housing change within their agency.

For more information about NIC’s virtual and in-person trainings, please email Glenn Watson at or Scott Richards at For more information about CJI’s Restrictive Housing technical assistance, please contact Barbara Pierce, CJI’s Director of Justice Initiatives at