Joseph Gordon-Levitt recently played the heroic police officer John Blake in “The Dark Knight Rises,” and IRL he’s also heroically looking out for the well-being of others. Yesterday he shot off a not-sweet-but-informative Tweet about young people in solitary confinement.
The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, works for the rights of individuals in the United States, including the rights of people under the age of 18 — they believe they shouldn’t be treated like adults and put in solitary confinement. In solitary confinement, a person spends 22 (or all 24!) hours a day by themselves in a small room, sometimes without even a window. They may or may not be allowed anything to pass their time, like a book. (If they’re a student and would like to study, that also may or may not be allowed.)
Ian Kystel of the ACLU did a report on how kids in solitary confinement are treated, and you can see a vid at the link Joe gives. It includes interviews with teens who were kept in solitary confinement for months at a time. There’s also talk of one boy with bipolar disorder being put in solitary confinement and having gas and pepper spray used on him.
“The solitary confinement of young people should be banned,” Ian says at the end of the vid. “Young people should be held in specialized juvenile facilities, not in adult jails and prisons. But regardless of where they’re held, children should never be held in solitary confinement.”
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