New Fact Sheet on Children Held in Solitary Confinement

by | June 21, 2024

Today, Solitary Watch is publishing the seventh in a series of fact sheets that offer facts, analysis, and resources on a variety of topics related to solitary confinement in U.S. prisons, jails, and immigrant and juvenile facilities. This fact sheet, written by Ella Whittaker, Abigail Gorman, and Ashanti Bruce, is titled “Children in Solitary Confinement.”

SW Fact Sheet 7 - Children in Solitary (click to download PDF)
Download “Children in Solitary Confinement: Solitary Watch Fact Sheet #7” (2024, PDF)

As the fact sheet states, “Solitary confinement causes serious physical, neurological, and psychological harm to adults, and has even more dire effects on children, whose minds and bodies are still growing and developing. The United Nations classifies solitary confinement as cruel and inhumane treatment that often rises to the level of torture, and has called for a complete ban on placing children in solitary. Despite this fact, thousands of kids experience isolation every day in adult jails and prisons and in juvenile facilities.”

The first fact sheet in the series addresses “Racism and Solitary Confinement,” while the second covers the often overlooked “Collateral Consequences of Solitary Confinement.” The third in the series documents the “Psychological Effect of Solitary Confinement,” the fourth challenges misconceptions about “Solitary Confinement and Prison Safety,” the fifth explores “Solitary Confinement and the Brain: The Neurological Effects,” and the sixth addresses “Solitary Confinement and Prison Oversight.” Future entries in the fact sheet series will cover the specific impacts of solitary on LGBTQ+ individuals and women and the use of solitary in immigration detention, as well as solitary and the law and the high fiscal costs of solitary confinement. All existing fact sheets can be found together on this page.

Fact sheets are designed to be accessed online and also printed out and copied for use by educators, advocates, policymakers, and others.

Banner photo: © Steve Liss from “Children Behind Bars.”

Jean Casella

Jean Casella is the director of Solitary Watch. She has also published work in The Guardian, The Nation, and Mother Jones, and is co-editor of the book Hell Is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement. She has received a Soros Justice Media Fellowship and an Alicia Patterson Fellowship. She tweets @solitarywatch.

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