ACTION: This week in Phoenix, at the State Capitol on Friday, MAY 23 at 5pm, Mothers Against Solitary Confinement will be rallying - please join them if you can. The action is also supported by Puente, Prisoners Are People, Arizona Prison Watch, and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC-Tucson).
The following article is one of the more useful I've come across in terms of compiling the most current and relevant links to documents dealing with solitary and youth. Then there's the cool video at the end - check it out and share it, please.
from the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange:
Juvenile Solitary Confinement: Modern-Day ‘Torture’ in the US
In April 2012, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry issued a statement concluding that solitary confinement of juveniles could lead to depression, anxiety and even psychosis and called for an end to the practice. “Due to their developmental vulnerability, juvenile offenders are at particular risk of such adverse reactions,” the AACAP statement said. “Furthermore, the majority of suicides in juvenile correctional facilities occur when the individual is isolated or in solitary confinement.”
Juan Méndez, the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, has found that solitary confinement can amount to torture and has urged a ban on solitary confinement of children and people with mental disabilities.
The National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, commissioned by U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., concluded in its final report in December 2012, “Nowhere is the damaging impact of incarceration on vulnerable children more obvious than when it involves solitary confinement.” The task force recommended the practice be forbidden. (The task force was co-chaired by Robert L. Listenbee Jr., who is now the administrator of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Listenbee did not respond to requests for comment.)
In his role as OJJDP administrator, Listenbee stated in a July 5, 2013, letter to an American Civil Liberties Union official that “isolation of children is dangerous and inconsistent with best practices and that excessive isolation can constitute cruel and unusual punishment,” which is banned under the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Experts say adolescents are particularly vulnerable to psychological harm caused by solitary – sometimes known as room restriction, restricted engagement, segregation, isolation, lockdown or seclusion – because their brains are still developing.