Petition for Rulemaking for Juvenile Solitary Confinement

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, along with nine other advocacy groups, submitted a petition to New Jersey’s Juvenile Justice Commission urging the state to adopt new regulations to end the use of solitary confinement of juveniles, a practice recognized internationally as torture.

New Jersey law currently allows juveniles to be placed in solitary confinement for up to five days at a time, even though humane alternatives such as graduated sanctions and positive reinforcement exist. The groups have proposed changes that would eliminate long-term solitary confinement, but would permit short-term, structured isolation for protection of adolescents when circumstances demand it. Studies have shown that solitary confinement can be especially traumatizing to young people because of the tremendous physiological changes they undergo in their adolescence.

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