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Obama Bans Solitary Confinement for Juveniles in Federal Prisons

GUEST: Richard Ross, a photographer, researcher and Distinguished Professor of art at the UCSB. His most recent work is the In Justice series, which documents the lives of incarcerated juveniles. The series includes ‘Juvenile in Justice’, and ‘Girls in Justice’.

President Obama on Monday morning published an op-ed in the Washington Post about solitary confinement of juveniles. In it, he wrote, “Research suggests that solitary confinement has the potential to lead to devastating, lasting psychological consequences. It has been linked to depression, alienation, withdrawal, a reduced ability to interact with others and the potential for violent behavior. Some studies indicate that it can worsen existing mental illnesses and even trigger new ones. Prisoners in solitary are more likely to commit suicide, especially juveniles and people with mental illnesses.”

The President coincided the op-ed with an order banning the practice of solitary confinement in federal prisons.

Also on Monday the US Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to retroactively extend their 2012 decision banning automatic life sentences without parole for youth offenders convicted of homicide. As a result of this week’s ruling, even those who were convicted many years ago as minors, will see their sentences impacted.

Find out more at www.juvenile-justice.com.