Suit: Jail keeps teens in solitary for months without care, education

Teenage males charged by the state attorney’s office as adults are put in solitary for months at a time, spending 23 or 24 hours a day alone in the 6-by 12-foot cell dubbed “the box,” receiving no mental health care and little or no education.

News Story (Florida)

John Pacenti
Palm Beach Post
June 21, 2018

Tags: Solitary Confinement

Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County


The nexus of the lawsuit started with Melissa Duncan of Legal Aid Society when the Palm Beach County Public Defender’s Office contacted her about concerns that the teenagers in solitary weren’t getting an education.

“When I started talking to the kids, they weren’t just getting any education; they weren’t getting anything,” she said.

Duncan, the supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society’s Educational Advocacy Project, then started researching other lawsuits around the country.

“So far I found the Palm Beach County practice is the most egregious in terms of the length of the time the kids are left in solitary confinement,” she said. “They feel like they are going crazy.”