Segregation, security housing reclassified under new ‘Restricted Housing Units’
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has restructured and renamed its Administrative Segregation Units and Security Housing Units — known as the “Hole” to most incarcerated persons.
The new regulation merged the ASU and SHU to create the “General Population Restricted Housing Unit,” or RHUs. These units typically house incarcerated people who are not in the Mental Health Service Delivery System, according to a CDCR Office of the Secretary memorandum dated October 5.
CDCR filed an emergency regulation package that limits the use of restricted housing only to occasions where an incarcerated person has engaged in violence or has serious safety concerns. These changes went into effect November 1, 2023.
The RHUs will consist of:
Administrative Segregation Units and Security Housing Units merged and renamed as General Population Restricted Housing Units.
Short-Term and Long-Term Restricted Housing merged and renamed as Correctional Clinical Case Management System RHUs. These units typically house people at the CCCMS level of care.
Enhanced Outpatient Program ASUs and Psychiatric Services Units merged and renamed EOP RHUs. These units house people at the EOP level of care.
The CDCR memo states there will be fewer offenses that result in RHU terms. Offenses eligible for an RHU term will be those that involve violence or threats of violence, including possession of a weapon. The RHU term lengths have also been reduced, according to the memorandum.
Additionally, the new regulations end the practice of consecutive restrictive housing terms as punishment for incarcerated persons. Allowable disciplinary actions may include the loss of certain privileges and forfeiture of earned time credit.
People in restricted housing will now be able to take part in approved program modules that will reduce their time in segregation. Called the RHU Programing Credit, this does not impact the length of a person’s prison sentence.
“To reduce anxiety and stress, CDCR will no longer require transferring between prisons for a RHU term. Also, out-of-cell time will be at least 20 hours a week for all people in RHU. The property matrix will be consistent for that place in RH and those receiving a RHU term,” cited the memorandum.