Solitary Confinement Settlement Would Spur Reforms, Staff Increases at St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center

Caleb Bauer, South Bend Tribune •

Jessica Feierman, the senior managing director of the nonprofit Juvenile Law Center, said policies in some states still haven’t caught up with scientific findings surrounding solitary confinement.

“We’ve known for decades, if not more, that solitary confinement is harmful,” Feierman said. “Recent research backs this up and confirms that placing anyone, especially children, in solitary confinement is devastating.”

The Juvenile Law Center and American Civil Liberties Union have taken state and local governments to task over solitary confinement in juvenile facilities. In Wisconsin, they sued the state to reduce the use of solitary confinement, pepper spray and restraints in youth prisons.

About the Expert

Jessica Feierman oversees Juvenile Law Center’s projects and programs. Feierman currently leads a national effort to end fines and fees in the juvenile justice system and is engaged in litigation aimed at eliminating solitary confinement and other abusive practices in juvenile facilities.