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Monday 16th of July 2018

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Unlocking Youth. Legal Strategies to End Solitary Confinement in Juvenile Facilities


Many correctional experts now agree that solitary confinement is counterproductive to the aims of the juvenile justice system, and there is a growing consensus among medical professionals and correctional administrators that solitary confinement of children must end.

Policymakers in many states have responded, imposing significant restrictions on the practice and in 2016 President Obama banned the use of solitary confinement for youth in federal prisons.

Despite this progress at the federal level and in a growing number of states, solitary confinement of youth remains widespread, with a disproportionate impact on youth of color (predominantly Black and Latinx youth), gender non-conforming youth, LGTBQ youth, and youth with disabilities. Moreover, we still lack comprehensive data on the use of solitary confinement in juvenile facilities, sufficient information about effective alternatives, and input from youth, families, and the communities most affected.

This report relies on legal research, psychological research, surveys of public defenders and state protection and advocacy agencies, and conversations with youth, families, and advocates to fill those gaps and to offer recommendations for reform.

Access full document here.


North America - United States

Year Language

2017 English

Category Type

Grey Literature Report


Detention, Facilities, Justice, Juvenile


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