“Solitary confinement for incarcerated juveniles has been condemned by psychologists, federal agencies and the United Nations for hindering rehabilitation efforts and damaging children’s mental health.
Yet according to a Rutgers juvenile justice advocate, many of the 300 juveniles who are incarcerated daily in secure facilities in New Jersey have been punished with solitary confinement for several consecutive days.
'Adolescents' brains continue to develop well into their 20s. As a result, they are uniquely vulnerable to the traumatic effects of isolation,' says Laura Cohen, a Rutgers School of Law-Newark professor and director of the Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic.
Rutgers law school faculty are working with the ACLU and civil rights and child welfare organizations to end the practice. They created a petition urging the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, which doesn’t release statistics on how often solitary is used, to substitute other punishments instead."
To read the full article published in Rutgers Today, click here.