Much attention was given to the California prisoners who went on hunger strike to protest that state’s policy of locking inmates in solitary confinement, sometimes for years. And while the majority of Americans view long term solitary confinement as cruel and unusual punishment, few realize that over 36,000 juveniles face that situation last year.
It is difficult for an adult to face living in solitary confinement, but young people whose brains are not fully developed experience an even greater nightmare when forced to live in isolation for an extended period of time. Tom Krainin , writing on the subject of juveniles held in long term solitary confinement for Prison Reform Movement, reveals that the majority of children are held in solitary confinement for minor infractions or crimes, or for “their own protection”
Krainin’s article,“For Their Own Protection”: Children in Long-Term Solitary Confinement,” which includes a powerful video, examines the reasons states should follow the lead of Maine, Connecticut, West Virginia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Alaska in restricting long term solitary confinement for juveniles.