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DOJ Settles Suit to End Solitary for Juveniles in Ohio

Some welcome news. The Department of Justice today announced a settlement of its suit against Ohio over the states juvenile detention policies.

The United States and private plaintiffs announced today that it has reached an agreement with the state of Ohio, under which the State Department of Youth Services (DYS) will dramatically reduce, and eventually eliminate, its use of seclusion on young people in its custody. DYS will also ensure that young people in its juvenile facilities receive individualized mental health treatment to prevent and address the conditions and behaviors that led to seclusion. The order resolves allegations that the state subjects young people with mental health needs in its custody to harmful seclusion and withholds treatment and programming, in violation of their constitutional rights.

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Jury Awards $22 Million to Pre-trial Detainee For Inhumane Treatment

Steven Slevin, 57, was arrested for a DUI and related minor offenses in New Mexico in 2005. He spent two years in solitary at the Dona Ana County Detention Facility. He was not provided mental health or medical care. Even his request to see a dentist was refused -- resulting in him being forced to pull his own tooth.

A federal jury has awarded him $22 million for the inhumane treatment. [More...]

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A First Hand Account of Solitary Confinement

Sarah Shourd, one of three American hikers detained in Iran, describes her year in solitary confinement in the Iranian prison in the New York Times. It's very depressing, but a good reminder that extended solitary confinement is torture.

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