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Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall Seeks Balance in Use of Solitary Confinement

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By J. D. Hillard | KUSP News

Santa Cruz County's juvenile hall seems to use solitary confinement less that other California counties. Source: http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/prb/contact.asp

Santa Cruz County’s juvenile hall seems to use solitary confinement less that other California counties. Source: http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/prb/contact.asp

Debate continues about the value of and harm caused by solitary confinement. The Center for Investigative Reporting’s Trey Bundy reports even short stays in solitary confinement are known to have negative mental health effects on teens. Despite this, regulation of this treatment is loose enough that juvenile halls don’t need to report how much or why inmates were put in solitary.

Bundy¬†obtained some rare interviews with staff and inmates inside Santa Cruz County’s Juvenile Hall. Staff there seem to have reduced solitary stays significantly compared to other counties, he says. Still youths who have been confined even for relatively short stays, reported they found themselves dwelling on personal grief: the death of a family member or friend. Bundy says it doesn’t appear likely that new regulation is coming anytime soon.

CIR has create an informative collection of reports on this topic:

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