Liman Center Research

Aiming to Reduce Time-in-Cell: Reports from Correctional Systems on the Numbers of Prisoners in Restricted Housing and on the Potential of Policy Changes to Bring About Reforms (November 2016)

Rethinking "Death Row": Variations in the Housing of Individuals Sentenced to Death (July 2016)
In response to growing concerns about the prolonged isolation of death sentenced prisoners in the United States, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School has released a report examining the housing of death sentenced prisoners around the country. 

Arthur Liman Public Interest Program's Comments to the 2016 ACA Restrictive Housing Proposed Revisions (January 19, 2016)

Time-in-Cell: The Liman-ASCA 2014 National Survey of Administrative Segregation in Prison
Sarah Baumgartel, Corey Guilmette, Johanna Kalb, Diana Li, Josh Nuni, Devon Porter, Judith Resnik, Camille Camp, George Camp (September, 2015)

In 2014, the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) joined with the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School to develop a national database of the policies and practices on what correctional officials call “restricted housing” and is frequently referred in the media as “solitary confinement.”  The result is this report, Time-in-Cell: The Liman-ASCA 2014 National Survey of Administrative Segregation in Prison, which provides information, as of the fall of 2014, on both the numbers and the conditions in restrictive housing nationwide.


Yale Law Journal Online Forum: Reactions to Time-In-Cell

Time-In-Cell: Isolation and Incarceration, 125 Yale Law Journal Forum, by Sarah Baumgartel, Johanna Kalb, & Judith Resnik (February 2016)

Only Once I Thought About Suicide, 125 Yale Law Journal Forum, by Reginald Dwayne Betts (February 2016)

Worse Than Death, 125 Yale Law Journal Forum, by the Honorable Alex Kozinski (February 2016)

The Liman Report and Alternatives to Prolonged Solitary Confinement, 125 Yale Law Journal Forum, by Jules Lobel (February 2016)

Time-In-Cell: A Practitioner’s Perspective, 125 Yale Law Journal Forum, by Ashbel T. Wall (February 2016)

Staying Alive: Reforming Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons and Jails, by Marie Gottschalk (February 2016)



Liman Statement for the Colson Task Force on Criminal Justice Reform: Women in Detention: The Need for National Reform
Johanna Kalb, Judith Resnik (March 2, 2015)

Isolation and Reintegration: Punishment Circa 2014
Hope Metcalf, Judith Resnik, Megan Quattlebaum (January 6, 2015)

On April 3-4, 2014 the Liman Program hosted Seventeenth Annual Liman Colloquium, Isolation and Reintegration: Punishment Circa 2014 , which was devoted to remedying the harms of incarceration. The assembled group included several directors of state prison systems, as well as lawyers who bring lawsuits against prisons, judges who respond to such lawsuits, and professionals from diverse disciplines and from the non-profit world. This collection of materials, which was provided as a starting point for the discussion, describes current patterns of incarceration and explores interventions designed to reduce the degree to which correctional facilities maintain order through the isolation of prisoners, both through the locating of prison facilities and the placement of people within them.

Liman Statement on Women in Detention: The Need for National Agenda
Johanna Kalb, Judith Resnik, Megan Quattlebaum with the assistance of Yale Law Students Emma Kaufman, Devon Porter, Jennifer Jun (December 9, 2014)

The Liman Program submitted this statement focusing on the civil and human rights of incarcerated women to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. Drawing on the Liman program’s recent research and advocacy, the statement brings into focus the specific challenges faced by women prisoners with respect to classification, placement, health, safety, and work.

Dislocation and Relocation: Women in the Federal Prison System and Repurposing FCI Danbury for Men, September 2014
Anna Arons, Katherine Culver, Emma Kaufman, Jennifer Yun, Hope Metcalf, Megan Quattlebaum, and Judith Resnik (September 2014)

This report provides a window into ways in which the location of prisoners affects their opportunities and the disadvantages experienced by women in the federal prison system. In particular, the report tracks the impact of the decision to close the facility at Danbury FCI to women, and highlights ways in which the construction of a new facility at Danbury could incorporate gender-responsive programming for women.

Liman Senate Statement Reassessing Solitary Confinement
Hope Metcalf, Judith Resnik (February 2014)

The statement written on the basis of the findings of the Liman Program’s 2013 Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and Incarceration: A National Overview of State and Federal Correctional Policies and details how corrections departments define the criteria for placement in administrative segregation, the processes for determining who falls within those criteria, some of the rules governing contact while in isolation, and the provisions for exit.

Administrative Segregation, Degrees of Isolation, and Incarceration: A National Overview of State and Federal Correctional Policies
Hope Metcalf, Jamelia Morgan, Samuel Oliker-Friedland, Judith Resnik, Julia Spiegel, Haran Tae, Alyssa Work, Brian Holbrook (June 2013)

The report, conducted with the assistance of the Association of State Corrections Administrators (ASCA), surveyed the policies on administrative segregation that were in effect in 2013 in 46 states and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The Report concludes that administrative segregation throughout the United States shares the same basic features: criteria for placement give broad discretion to decision-makers; detention generally is open-ended, rather than for a fixed duration; confinement is close and restrictive; and access to contact with visitors and to activities is very limited. Looking at the rules sheds light on why the practice of administrative segregation has become so prevalent. The policies provide relatively little guidance about which concerns and what risks necessitate segregation, and under which circumstances or by which criteria an inmate should be returned to general population. Thus, the rules do not reflect how segregation is actually used, either in the jurisdictions where isolation remains commonplace or in those that, in recent years, have reduced their segregation populations.

Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey

Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz, and Aaron Littman

This Feature presents a summary of findings from a survey of prison visitation policies in the fifty states and in the system run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). The lives of prisoners and their families are deeply affected by visitation policies and, to date, there has been no comprehensive effort to compare these policies across all of the fifty states.

Visiting Room: A Response to Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty –State Survey, 32 Yale Law & Policy Review 191, by Giovanna Shay (2013)

Why do they Do It That Way?: A Response to Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty –State Survey, 32 Yale Law & Policy Review 199, by Ashbel T. Wall II (2013)

An Endangered Necessity: A Response to Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, 32 Yale Law & Policy Review 205, by David Fathi (2013)

Taking Stock and Moving Forward to Improve Prison Visitation Practices: A Response to Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, 32 Yale Law & Policy Review 211, by Philip M. Genty (2013)

Senate Judiciary Committee Bureau of Prisons Oversight Hearing
Judith Resnik, Hope Metcalf, Megan Quattlebaum (November 2012)

The statement discusses how, upon learning about the BOP’s proposal to limit placement opportunities for women in the Northeast, the Liman Program began efforts to map where facilities for federal prisoners were and to identify the roles that gender and jurisdictions of sentencing play when considering options for placements of incarcerated individuals. Second, we provide a brief overview of research demonstrating that incarcerated individuals who have opportunities for education and who can maintain ties with their families and communities are more successful while in prison and upon release.


Overcriminalization and Excessive Punishment: Uncoupling Pipelines to Prison
Hope Metcalf, Sia Sanneh (July 2012)

This report was developed from a workshop co-sponsored by the American Bar Association and John Jay College of Criminal Justice. In December 2011, a group of approximately forty officials, scholars, and practitioners gathered to discuss the phenomenon commonly referred to as “mass incarceration.” The conversation focused on three areas, all of which are fueling rising prison populations: (1) over-criminalization through the erosion of intentionality; (2) criminalizing adolescent misbehavior in schools and on the streets; and (3) excessive punishment and control of those convicted of criminal behavior.

Why the Local Matters: Federalism, Localism, and Public Interest Advocacy (2009)

On March 6 and 7, 2008, the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School hosted the Eleventh Annual Liman Public Interest Colloquium, Liman at the Local Level: Public Interest Advocacy and American Federalism. Scholars, advocates, students, judges, and government officials explored the role of actors at all levels of governance across the history of public interest advocacy in the United States and transnationally.4 This volume widens the conversation and brings the in-person discussions at the Colloquium to a broader audience in print form.

Liman Reports

The Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law publishes a newsletter that reports on the activities of its fellows and the activities of the Center. All are in PDF format.

Fall 2017 | Fall 2016 | Fall 2015  |  Fall 2014  |  Fall 2013  |  Fall 2012  |  Fall 2011  |  Fall 2010  |  Fall 2009  |  Fall 2008  |  Fall 2007

Winter 2006  |  Summer 2006  |  Winter 2005  |  Summer 2005  |  December 2004  |  Summer 2003

Selected Publications by Liman Fellows

Predicting and Preventing Nursing Home “Performance Closures” in Michigan: Why Regulators May Not Have All the Tools They Need, Elder Law Journal (2004)
Alison Hirschel

Juvenile Reentry in Richmond: Barriers, Cost Savings, and Giving Youth a Second Chance, JustChildren Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center (2007)
Charisa Smith

Cross-Sector Collaboration in Reentry: Building an Infrastructure for Change, Clearinghouse Review, Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (2007)
McGregor Smyth

Broken Promises: 2 Years After Katrina, ACLU National Prison Project, ACLU Racial Justice Program (2007)
Tom Jawetz, Sonia Kumar

No Chance to Make It Right: Life Without Parole for Juvenile Offenders in Mississippi, The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (2008)
Holly Thomas

Hard Lessons, School Resource Officer Programs and School-Based Arrests in Three Connecticut Towns, ACLU (2008)
Jamie Dycus

Missing the Mark, Alternative Schools in the State of Mississippi, ACLU (2009)
Jamie Dycus

From Arrest to Reintegration: A Model for Mitigating Collateral Consequences of Criminal Proceedings (2009)
McGregor Smyth

Criminal Justice Debt: A Barrier to Reentry, Brennan Center for Justice (2010)
Alicia Bannon

Caged Birds Sing: A Report by Girls on the A Unit at Waxter, ACLU of Maryland (2010)
Sonia Kumar

Accessing Justice: The Availability and Adequacy of Counsel in Immigration Proceedings, New York Immigrant Representation Study (2011)
Lindsay Nash

Accessing Justice II: A Model for Providing Counsel to New York Immigrants in Removal Proceedings, New York Immigrant Representation Study (2012)
Lindsay Nash

The Way Forward: Recommendations for Improving Indigent Defense in Texas on the Fiftieth Anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright, Texas Fair Defense Project (2013)
Andrea Marsh

Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and its Impact on American Muslims, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility, the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (2013)
Dalia Shamas

Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty-State Survey, Yale Law & Policy Review (2013)
Chesa Boudin, Trevor Stutz, and Aaron Littman

The Maryland War on Marijuana in Black and White, ACLU (2013)
Sonia Kumar

Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison System, ACLU of Texas, ACLU (2014)
Adrienna Wong

Why Motive Matters: Designing Effective Policy Responses to Modern Debtors’ Prisons, Yale Law & Policy Review (2015)
Andrea Marsh, Emily Gerrick

A Solitary Failure: The Waste, Cost and Harm of Solitary Confinement in Texas, ACLU, Texas Civil Rights Project—Houston (2015)
Burke Butler

Procedural Justice: Increasing Trust to Decrease Crime, Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center (2015)
Megan Quattlebaum

Indigent Defense Attorney Mentoring in Texas: A Guide to Establishing a Mentorship Program, Texas Indigent Defense Commission, National Legal Aid & Defender Association (2015)
Andrea Marsh

Underserved: How the VA Wrongfully Excludes Veterans with Bad Paper, National Veterans Legal Services Program, Swords to Plowshares (2016)
Dana Montalto

California’s Due Process Crisis: Access to Legal Counsel for Detained Immigrants, The California Coalition for Universal Representation (2016)
Caitlin Bellis

The Empathy Gap and How to Fill It, Education Week, (2016)
Jessica Sager

Shadow Prisons: Immigrant Detention in the South, Southern Poverty Law Center (2016)
Jessica Vosburgh

Caged In: Solitary Confinement’s Devastating Harm on Prisoners with Physical Disabilities, ACLU (2017)
Jamelia Morgan

Pay or Stay: The High Cost of Jailing Texans for Fines & Fees, Texas Appleseed, Texas Fair Defense Project (2017)
Rebecca Bernhardt, Emily Gerrick