Is Juvenile Solitary Confinement Torture?

Posted by Marshall Swenson

Feb 25, 2015 9:15:00 AM

Juvenile Solitary Confinement—Is It Torture?

Imagine yourself 17. You’ve been convicted of armed robbery. In jail, you were caught with a shiv. In the eyes of the institution, no excuse for that. However, any viewer of the TV series “Law and Order” would know having protection might be the only way to stave off predators.solitary_picture

Now take this further. Imagine you are confined to an 8-by-10 foot cell, 23 hours a day without human contact. That’s what happened to Michael Kemp. “You just like, ‘Man, I feel like an animal in here. I don’t even feel real...where I’m not even a human being."

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Topics: rikers island,, juvenile justice

Getting It Right at Rikers Island

Posted by Jon Steinmetz

Sep 28, 2014 3:00:00 PM

Recently, New York City newspapers published articles raising awareness regarding violent incidents at Rikers Island.   

For those not familiar with New York, Rikers Island is the city’s main jail complex, a 413.17-acre island located in the East River between Queens and the Bronx. If you fly into LaGuardia Airport, you will see the razor wire-surrounded island located only a short swim from the runway. Adult and youth offenders reside on this island dedicated exclusively to incarceration. rikers-525x300

While the news articles bring up significant concerns, the incidents of violence are not new. As one might expect, the occupants are not there because they are model citizens. A wide range of law infractions and violations can earn a trip to Rikers. The constitutionality of sending youth offenders there has been questioned, especially considering that "most


 of whom have not yet been convicted of crime, and about half of whom have been diagnosed with a mental illness," according to Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.  

Once there, safety is not assured. There are rival gangs looking to start a fight. Forty percent of the population has been diagnosed with mental problems. The staff response to violent inmates has resulted in frequent injuries and sometimes death.

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Topics: Multisystemic Therapy, MST, rikers island,, social impact bonds,

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