Teens With Mental Disabilities Held in Solitary For Up to 23 Hours

posted in: Juvenile Justice | 0

It happened in New Jersey and is happening in Contra Costa County, in the San Francisco Bay Area. A class action lawsuit was filed in August 2013 by Berkeley-based Disability Rights Advocates, on behalf of a teenage girl and two boys, all of whom were or are still detained at a maximum-security, 290-bed juvenile hall in Martinez, Calif. At issue is Contra Costa County’s policy of locking disabled kids in solitary confinement, sometimes for months in a 12-by-12 foot cell. Attorneys for the federal Department of Justice and Department of Education ripped Contra Costa County officials in charge of juvenile hall for locking up youths in solitary confinement and refusing to school them during their punishment, saying they are violating the teens’ rights. The suit was brought against the county Probation Department and Contra Costa Office of Education.

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