Solitary Confinement For Minors - My9 New Jersey

Solitary Confinement For Minors

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) - New Jersey’s Juvenile Justice Commission may have to change their policies.

The JJC along with Rutgers University agreed to pay $400 thousand to settle a claim by 2 men who claim that their time in juvenile solitary confinement was damaging.

Alex Shalom of the ACLU chimed in to discuss if he thinks the settlement is a positive step towards changing the policies.

“Whether or not they admitted it formally, the state of New Jersey needs to recognize that they need to change their regulation that governs solitary confinement of juveniles,” he said.

One of the young men involved in the suit spent 178 of his 225 day juvenile sentence in solitary confinement including 22 consecutive days. It got so bad that he created an imaginary friend who told him to hurt himself, using caulk and wall tile to cut himself while alone in confinement.

Since his release from the juvenile facility, this young man has apparently had several run-ins with the law and the ACLU says that’s not surprising.

“When you take a person who already was troubled and placed in juvenile detention and subject them to torture, we can’t be surprised they come out and are not well adjusted. They’re not reformed in the way we would hope. They’re not rehabilitated, in fact they’re more profoundly damaged,” Shalom said.

Neither The JJC nor Rutgers admitted any wrongdoing in the case and the ACLU says that they will continue to meet to determine a plan on the best way to do away with juvenile solitary confinement completely.


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