Sunday, June 7, 2015

For Advocates, Push to End Solitary Confinement in Prison Only Begins With Youth Isolation

California's Senate Bill 124, which passed the State Senate on June 2, [will] drastically [curtail] the use of isolation in the state's juvenile prison system. SB124 is one of several efforts across the nation focused on ending the placement of children in extreme isolation.

The bill is, in part, a result of research and publicity about the effects of solitary confinement particularly on the still-developing brain of adolescents and teenagers. In children and adults, the effects of solitary confinement, also referred to as isolated confinement or isolation, often include depression, hallucinations, panic attacks, cognitive deficits, paranoia, anxiety and anger. In adolescents, who are still developing socially, psychologically and neurologically, the results can be particularly devastating. One study found that, among those who died by suicide in juvenile prisons, half occurred in solitary confinement, and 62 percent had a history of being in isolation.


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