JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE OF OHIO TO END UNLAWFUL SECLUSION OF YOUTH IN JUVENILE CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES
WASHINGTON – The United States and private plaintiffs announced today that they have reached an agreement with the state of Ohio, under which the State Department of Youth Services (DYS) will dramatically reduce, and eventually eliminate, its use of seclusion on young people in its custody. DYS will also ensure that young people in its juvenile facilities receive individualized mental health treatment to prevent and address the conditions and behaviors that led to seclusion. The order resolves allegations that the state subjects young people with mental health needs in its custody to harmful seclusion and withholds treatment and programming, in violation of their constitutional rights.
“Overreliance on solitary confinement for young people, particularly those with disabilities, is unsafe and counterproductive,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “This agreement will help ensure that incarceration in Ohio’s state facilities is humane and that appropriate treatment is provided for young people with mental illness. The Justice Department will continue to evaluate the use of solitary confinement so that it does not become a new normal for incarcerated juveniles.”