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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Perspectives on Juvenile Detention and Solitary Confinement

By Antonia Cartwright
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
Originally posted August 27, 2014

Juvenile solitary confinement is a poignant indictment of our dependence on incarceration. The practice is pervasive in the United States, despite the fact that it damages our youth and, by causing higher recidivism, harms our society. Many other countries avoid or prohibit juvenile solitary confinement, viewing it as torture.

Disguised under a barrage of euphemisms, including segregation and secure housing, juvenile solitary confinement is pervasive in the United States, but lacks legal definition and practice guidelines. Recent legislation in California sought to restrict juvenile isolation to addressing urgent risks only. Unfortunately this has stalled, but advocates must continue to address the issue. Many states segregate juveniles for protection or punishment, for weeks or even months at a time.

The entire Op-Ed piece is here.