Solitary Confinement

-M.A., Age 16

The use of solitary confinement for juveniles violates international law, embodied in the prohibition against inhumane treatment in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child urges nations to ensure that measures used are proportionate and appropriate to the youth’s circumstances and to the offense.

Solitary confinement and other forms of isolation can cause serious psychological, physical, and developmental harm to children.  Juvenile Justice Initiative urges to ban the use of juvenile solitary confinement.

Read the JJI’s Testimony on Solitary Confinement here.

Read the New York Time’s article highlighting Justice Kennedy’s concurrence on Davis v. Ayala.


Justice Kennedy on Solitary Confinement (2015, June 19). New York Times. Retrieved from
ACLU (2013). Alone & Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities. New York, NY: ACLU.
Sedlak, A. J., & McPherson, K. S. (2010). Conditions of Confinement: Findings from the Survey of Youth in Residential Placement. Washington, D.C.: Office o Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Colorado Department of Corrections.  (2010). One Year Longitudinal Study of the Psychological Effects of Administrative Segregation. Colorado Springs, CO: Colorado Department of Corrections.