Little research has been done on the use of seclusion in community mental health centers. The authors studied 56 seclusion room placements for 25 inpatients at a community mental health center and found that use of seclusion may more frequently be a function of staff than of patient need. Evening and night shifts made more frequent use of seclusion than did day shifts. Shifts staffed primarily with female employees used seclusion more than shifts where male staff predominated. Shifts with both a low staff-patient ratio and a larger number of female staff tended to use seclusion the most. The authors urge other CMHCs to critically examine their seclusion practices to ensure that they are humane and appropriate.