President Obama Bans Solitary Confinement For Juveniles In Federal Prisons

President Obama Bans Solitary Confinement For Juveniles In Federal Prisons

On Monday, President Obama announced a ban on solitary confinement for juveniles in the federal prison system, saying it’s an overused practice that has the potential for devastating psychological consequences.

The POTUS also outlined a series of executive actions the will prohibit federal corrections officials from punishing prisoners who commit “low-level infractions” with solitary confinement. Currently prisoners can receive a maximum of 365 days in solitary for their first offense. Under the new rules the longest a prisoner can be confined for a first offense is 60 days.

Here’s what President Obama had to say about it on Facebook:

Six years ago, a 16-year-old named Kalief Browder from the Bronx was accused of stealing a backpack. He was sent to Rikers Island to await trial, where he reportedly endured unspeakable violence at the hands of inmates and guards – and spent nearly two years in solitary confinement. In 2013, Kalief was released, having never stood trial. One Saturday, he committed suicide.

Too often, solitary confinement is overused on people like Kalief. As many as 100,000 people in America are being held in solitary confinement – including juveniles and people with mental illnesses. Research shows it can potentially lead to devastating psychological consequences. The overuse of this tactic doesn’t make us safer – it’s an affront to our common humanity.

I asked the Department of Justice to review the overuse of solitary confinement, and as I announced today, I’m adopting their recommendations to reform the federal prison system, including a ban on solitary confinement for low-level offenses and for juveniles, expanding treatment for the mentally ill, and increasing the amount of time inmates in solitary can spend outside of their cells. 

Kudos to President Obama for his work in reforming the criminal justice system.

For more scoop visit The Washington Post.

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