Raleigh, NC – A lawsuit has been filed alleging that children in juvenile detention centers in North Carolina are being kept in solitary confinement, according to court documents. The lawsuit claims that these young detainees, some as young as 13 years old, are being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of their constitutional rights.
The complaint, filed on behalf of four plaintiffs, alleges that the use of solitary confinement in juvenile detention centers across the state is widespread and systemic. The plaintiffs argue that isolating these young people for extended periods of time hinders their rehabilitation and exacerbates their mental health issues.
According to the lawsuit, children in these facilities are kept in small cells for up to 23 hours a day, with limited human contact and minimal access to education and recreational activities. The plaintiffs argue that this prolonged isolation causes severe psychological harm, leading to increased rates of self-harm and suicide attempts among the young detainees.
Advocacy groups have long raised concerns about the use of solitary confinement on juveniles. Studies have shown that isolation can have a profound impact on young people, leading to increased anxiety, depression, and aggression. In addition, the lack of social interaction and educational opportunities can impede their development and chances of successful integration into society upon release.
The lawsuit seeks to hold the North Carolina Department of Public Safety responsible for its alleged failure to adequately supervise and prevent the use of solitary confinement in juvenile detention centers. The plaintiffs are calling for immediate changes to the practice, as well as compensation for the damages they have suffered.
In response to the lawsuit, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety stated that it does not comment on pending litigation. However, the department has previously defended the use of solitary confinement as a necessary measure to maintain safety and security within these facilities.
The plaintiffs and their advocates argue that there are alternative approaches that can address behavioral issues while respecting the rights and well-being of young detainees. They are calling for reforms that prioritize rehabilitation and therapeutic interventions, rather than punitive measures that can further harm these vulnerable individuals.
The lawsuit alleging the use of solitary confinement in North Carolina’s juvenile detention centers highlights a contentious practice that has faced criticism across the country. As the legal battle unfolds, the fate of these young detainees hangs in the balance, while the debate on the use of solitary confinement in the juvenile justice system continues.