Make juvenile solitary confinement safer and rare in Virginia

Letter to the Editor: Barbara Favola

Published in the Washington Post

February 10 at 5:19 PM


I agree with President Obama on the need to reform our solitary confinement laws, especially for children. It is time to change things. I introduced Virginia Senate Bill 215 as the first step in making juvenile isolation safer and rare in Virginia. If passed, the bill would direct the Board of Corrections to develop regulations that reflect evidence-based practices in rehabilitating youth. These regulations would require that isolation be used only as a last resort, identify conditions under which isolation may be permitted and specify short time intervals for staff to check on juveniles in isolation. The intent is to ensure that our juvenile-detention facilities achieve the best possible outcomes for our youths.

 

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