BOSTON (AP) — The number of Massachusetts prison inmates placed in solitary confinement remains "staggeringly high" according a prisoners' rights advocate, despite an overall drop in the number of people behind bars.

The Boston Globe reports that at least 2,100 prisoners were placed in isolation at least once last year, according to biannual reports from the Massachusetts Department of Correction.

Inmates in isolation, which the department calls "restrictive housing," are allowed outside their cell one hour a day, five days a week.

James Pingeon, a staff attorney with Prisoners' Legal Services, called the number "staggeringly high" and said many people are placed in solitary for minor infractions.

Prisons officials said last year's figures do not reflect the changes they've made to isolation policies since criminal justice overhaul was signed into law in April 2018.

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