Back to News & Commentary

You Won't Believe What We're Doing to Kids

Sarah Solon,
Communications Strategist,
Share This Page
October 7, 2013

Imagine yourself at 13. Maybe you’d just started 8th grade. Maybe you’d just seen your first PG-13 movie. Now watch this:


Privacy statement. This embed will serve content from

Everyday across the country, kids as young as 13 are held in solitary confinement – spending over 22 hours a day locked in a room the size of a parking spot. For young people who are still developing, the consequences are devastating.

The federal government has outlined concerns about locking kids in solitary, but it has fallen short of promising not to subject the kids in its care to this practice. Over the last several months, the ACLU has worked with over 40 advocacy groups to pressure Attorney General Eric Holder to ban solitary confinement for youth in federal custody – which would set an important precedent for states to follow suit. We received an initial response from decision-makers at the Department of Justice that signaled interest, but they still have not committed to a ban.

On October 10th, we are going to deliver the signatures of thousands of people calling for an end to youth solitary in federal facilities. We already have nearly 40,000 signatures. Help us get to 50,000.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Attorney General Eric Holder to ban the solitary confinement of youth in federal facilities.

Learn more about solitary confinement and other civil liberty issues: Sign up for breaking news alerts, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page