On Monday, Jan. 26, President Barack Obama made an unprecedented decision to ban solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prison.
Solitary confinement is a form of imprisonment where the prisoner has no human contact for 24 hours a day. In a speech to the NAACP in July of 2015, Obama said, “An environment like that is often more likely to make inmates more alienated, more hostile, more violent.”
The rule states that the maximum a prisoner can be held in solitary confinement for a first offense is 60 days, the previous maximum was 365 days.
It will also prohibit prisoners from being punished with solitary confinement when committing low-level, non-violent violations. Although the rule effects a small number of juveniles– only 13 of them were sent to solitary confinement between September 2014 and September 2015– 10,000 federal inmates will be affected by this rule.
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