Juvenile Solitary Confinement Essay

1942 Words 8 Pages
Juvenile solitary confinement has been used over the years to punish poor behavior in the United States juvenile prison system. However after long term negative side effects that isolation can cause in teens, the General public has been in support of isolation alternatives. In this paper, I will be discussing the state by state solitary confinement rules and regulations, how rehabilitation and therapeutic services can be a healthy option as an alternative to confinement and how our nation’s youth don’t always have to feel that segregation is the only form of discipline.
A lot of modern alternatives to juvenile solitary confinement would be preferable if not more acceptable to the general public. This idea of solitary confinement started back
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After so many people doing research on the detrimental effects that solitary confinement does to young minds, we as a society are seeing a shift in practices when dealing with correcting behavior in our juvenile prison systems. A paper was written by Professor Ellen Yaroshefsky from Cardozo school of law on the Rikers incarceration system and how certain steps can be taken to change juvenile incarceration practices. In “Rethinking Rikers: Moving from a correctional to a Therapeutic Model for Youth” Yaroshefsky discusses certain ways reform can be done. She discusses two possible alternatives to isolation, the first option is small group management, this is where the correctional facility can start having the juveniles put into small groups of no more than 12, this can be looked at as mini communities, these young adults can eat together sleep in a common dorm room together, participate in activities together, and have group discussions to express their feelings. The juveniles would also spend most of their time with one another every day. The second option would be therapy “Adopt treatment and rehabilitation mechanisms that are proven to reduce future instances of criminal conduct and reform delinquent behavior”. (Yaroshefsky) Juveniles who are in this therapeutic …show more content…
However there are a few notable key differences to this approach that I feel should be discussed. The main point of their recommendations was to state that they want to end juvenile solitary confinement. Furthermore the ACLU feels that any incarceration system should “Strictly limit segregation and isolation of young people under age 18, even if for periods not long enough to constitute solitary confinement.”(Human rights watch) Also If for some reason the incarcerated youth needs to be held in any type of isolation the main goal would still need to be rehabilitation so in other words just because the juvenile had a crisis, nothing would justify taking away an opportunity to be treated. There have also been cases where the youth needs to go into isolation for protective purposes and if that is the case they would still only need to be placed in isolation for a short period of time. I believe that as a society we are seeing the negative impact of how segregated isolation effects our nation’s youth and as a civilized society we are urging change in our juvenile prison systems because we feel that there are other alternatives to solitary confinement. In treating or rehabilitating youth, incarcerations systems could be “Diverting youth to specialized facilities,

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