A national prisons group is proposing an easing of solitary confinement rules as several states adopt less harsh approaches to punishing inmates.

Jim Gondles is executive director of the American Correctional Association. He says inmates are already being deprived of liberties by being in prison and that it doesn't make sense to further punish them inside.

Prison directors in Colorado and Ohio are helping develop new national standards based on changes they're pushing at home.

A 2014 Colorado law bans the placement of inmates with serious mental illnesses in solitary confinement.

In Ohio, the state is boosting the amount of programming and recreation that inmates in solitary get while still keeping them separate from the general prison population.