Florida shrugs off the cruelty of locking children in solitary cells | Fred Grimm

Florida continues to consign children to the sensory deprivation and unceasing loneliness of solitary confinement. As if the Department of Juvenile Justice still regards sadism as a best practice.

State lawyers last week asked a federal judge to dismiss a class-action lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida Legal Services and the Florida Justice Institute seeking a judicial order banning solitary confinement in juvie lockups.

The state rejected the notion that prolonged isolation might have deleterious effects on young prisoners. Instead, DJJ claimed, the real intent of the lawsuit was to “move the needle toward their obvious goal of eliminating any form of confinement for juveniles.”

The DJJ lawyers apparently hope the federal judge won’t notice that 20 states and the Federal Bureau of Prison have either prohibited or severely limited the use of solitary confinement for kids without subsequently “eliminating any form of confinement for juveniles.”

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