The Awful Reality Faced By Teens Who Are Locked Away in Solitary Confinement

A new video from the ACLU is hard to watch, but the problem is difficult to ignore.

By Jamilah King Oct 04, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) just released a new video to draw attention to the problem of juvenile prisoners being held in solitary confinement. The video comes amid a multi-year campaign waged by the organization to end the practice of placing youth offenders, many of whom are charged with adult crimes and housed in adult facilities, in solitary confinement for up to 22-24 hours each day

The video, like the problem itself, is hard to watch, but difficult to ignore, according to the group.

It’s a problem that’s especially prevalent for youth of color who are in the country’s jails and prisons. Though overall youth incarceration has decreased in recent years, youth of color are still more likely to end up behind bars than their white counterparts. According to the group, African-American youth in New Jersey are more than 4.5 times more likely to be incarcerated in a state youth prison. And in South Dakota, Native American youth make up more than 40 percent of the state’s incarcerated youth, but just 13 percent of the overall population.