What Should Be Considered In Determining Whether An Inmate Has a Protected Liberty Interest In Avoiding Solitary Confinement ?

In Shoats v. Horn, 213 F.3d 140 (3d Cir. 2000), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit concluded that an inmate kept in administrative confinement for eight years without any prospect of release in the near future had a protected liberty interest in avoiding continued administrative confinement because the duration and indefiniteness of such confinement was atypical and imposed a significant hardship on the inmate in relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life. Thus, in determining whether an inmate has a protected liberty interest in avoiding solitary confinement, courts consider whether the solitary confinement exceeds similar confinement "in either duration or degree of restriction."