President Obama Bans Solitary Confinement for Juveniles in Federal Prison

Now, if only the states would do the same.

The Fifth Column


Nicholas Kamm—AFP/Getty Images


U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a ban on solitary confinement in federal prisons for juveniles and as a punishment for low-level infractions. The practice leads to “heartbreaking results” and diminishes the chance of rehabilitation, Obama wrote on Monday in the Washington Post.

“The United States is a nation of second chances,” he said, “but the experience of solitary confinement too often undercuts that second chance.”

The President also called for an expansion in treatment for mentally ill prisoners and an extension of the time inmates in solitary can spend outside their cells, currently limited to about an hour a day.

These reforms are expected to affect some 10,000 federal inmates, about a 10th of the total number of U.S. prisoners held in solitary. They are part of more than 50 “guiding principles” recommended for all correctional facilities by the Department of Justice in a

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Posted on 01/26/2016, in civil rights, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. crustyolemothman

    In most cases all it accomplishes by putting a juvenile under lock and key, is to teach them to be smarter at not getting caught. It is very important that we develop a method that encourages these young people to turn their lives around and leave behind the life of crime they are living. The responsibility for the actions of the child in far to many cases lies with the lack of parental guidance, which in far too many cases is caused by children have children…


    • Mothman,
      I can’t disagree with you, but I would add that peer pressure causes many youths to start down the wrong path. Additionally, with our society now consisting of working parents with no parent home, there are things that kids do that parents know nothing about until they get that call that their child is in police custody.

      Yesterday, I read a story about a girl (I think 14 years old) who was involved in a domestic situation. It took place in Kentucky. She was a ward of the state, and a social worker recommended that she be arrested. She died while in custody. The ME said it was “natural causes.”

      I don’t know what an alternative to arresting her would have been.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. yahtzeebutterfly

    I went to the Washington Post link post in the above article and read President Obama’s message. His two concluding paragraphs are great:

    “Reforming solitary confinement is just one part of a broader bipartisan push for criminal justice reform. Every year, we spend $80 billion to keep 2.2 million people incarcerated. Many criminals belong behind bars. But too many others, especially nonviolent drug offenders, are serving unnecessarily long sentences. That’s why members of Congress in both parties are pushing for change, from reforming sentencing laws to expanding reentry programs to give those who have paid their debt to society the tools they need to become productive members of their communities. And I hope they will send me legislation as soon as possible that makes our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, less expensive and more effective.

    “In America, we believe in redemption. We believe, in the words of Pope Francis, that “every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes.” We believe that when people make mistakes, they deserve the opportunity to remake their lives. And if we can give them the hope of a better future, and a way to get back on their feet, then we will leave our children with a country that is safer, stronger and worthy of our highest ideals.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Two sides to a story

    A little progress!


  4. Finally we have a President who cares…. If Trump gets in, you and I will be sent for re-education, if we are lucky. I have a real bad feeling about this election year.


    • Juan, the next presidential election scares the heck out of me. There is not one candidate where I feel a connection. I won’t vote for Hillary in the primary. In 2008 during the primaries, she went to Obama’s throat with lies. Sarah Palin used some of those lies to go after Obama. I haven’t forgotten that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is Germany 1932… Watch on YouTube World at War… The first episode… Just substitute Jews and Gypsies for Muslims and Mexicans.. People who forget history are doomed to relive it

        Liked by 1 person

        • Juan,
          I see, and agree. It’s something that I’ve thought of for awhile, especially with so many people with disabilities and mental health issues being killed. It places a standard that some people do not deserve to live, or that their lives are not important.

          Liked by 1 person

          • These are serious times, his supporter would round up those who don’t add up. He’s constantly telling his base that “We need a strong America.” Imagine a Presidential candidate saying, “I could kill someone in NY City and not lose a voter.” Oh I was just kidding… Who says that? And his silent dog whistle sounds…


          • Juan,
            It was scary for Trump to say that. As the old folks used to say, he doesn’t think that his feces stinks.

            Liked by 1 person

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