Settlement Reforms Solitary Confinement of Juveniles at Onondaga County Jail

The agreement comes nine months after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the teens.
News Story (New York)

Scott Willis
WAER (Syracuse, New York)
June 27, 2017

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Criminal Justice, Solitary Confinement

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Services of Central New York


LSCNY  staff attorney Josh Cotter says they wanted to show that jail deputies shouldn’t be treating juveniles the same as adults…

They don’t differentiate between adults with very different needs and 16 and 17-year-old kids.  They didn’t think they needed to.  I think this lawsuit shines the light on the real harm.”

He says the teens were often sent to solitary confinement for minor offenses.  They were housed next to adults, some with mental illness, who threatened them, threw urine and feces, and deprived them of sleep.   Cotter says this can have a profound effect on teens whose brains are still developing.  Some went into depression and contemplated suicide.  Now, he says, solitary will be a last resort.