Tag: solitary confinement

Obama Ends Solitary for Juveniles in Federal Prisons

Here is President Obama's op-ed in today's Washington Post explaining why he has ordered the end of solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons.

Here is the Justice Department report on the effects of solitary confinement -- Obama says he adopted its recommendations. The report has 50 guiding principles. Obama writes:

The Justice Department has completed its review, and I am adopting its recommendations to reform the federal prison system. These include banning solitary confinement for juveniles and as a response to low-level infractions, expanding treatment for the mentally ill and increasing the amount of time inmates in solitary can spend outside of their cells. These steps will affect some 10,000 federal prisoners held in solitary confinement and hopefully serve as a model for state and local corrections systems. And I will direct all relevant federal agencies to review these principles and report back to me with a plan to address their use of solitary confinement.


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DOJ Settles Suit to End Solitary for Juveniles in Ohio

Some welcome news. The Department of Justice today announced a settlement of its suit against Ohio over the states juvenile detention policies.

The United States and private plaintiffs announced today that it has reached an agreement with the state of Ohio, under which the State Department of Youth Services (DYS) will dramatically reduce, and eventually eliminate, its use of seclusion on young people in its custody. DYS will also ensure that young people in its juvenile facilities receive individualized mental health treatment to prevent and address the conditions and behaviors that led to seclusion. The order resolves allegations that the state subjects young people with mental health needs in its custody to harmful seclusion and withholds treatment and programming, in violation of their constitutional rights.

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Jury Awards $22 Million to Pre-trial Detainee For Inhumane Treatment

Steven Slevin, 57, was arrested for a DUI and related minor offenses in New Mexico in 2005. He spent two years in solitary at the Dona Ana County Detention Facility. He was not provided mental health or medical care. Even his request to see a dentist was refused -- resulting in him being forced to pull his own tooth.

A federal jury has awarded him $22 million for the inhumane treatment. [More...]

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A First Hand Account of Solitary Confinement

Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers detained in Iran, describes her year in solitary confinement in the Iranian prison in the New York Times. It's very depressing, but a good reminder that extended solitary confinement is torture.

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