President Barack Obama announced plans to ban solitary confinement as a punishment for juvenile prisoners.
In a Monday op-ed for the Washington Post, Obama wrote that he will adopt Justice Department recommendations, including “expanding treatment for the mentally ill and increasing the amount of time inmates in solitary can spend outside of their cells,” in addition to the juvenile ban.
“The United States is a nation of second chances, but the experience of solitary confinement too often undercuts that second chance,” explained Obama. “How can we subject prisoners to unnecessary solitary confinement, knowing its effects, and then expect them to return to our communities as whole people?”
Obama noted that the Justice Department’s recommendations would affect an estimated 10,000 federal prisoners currently held in solitary confinement.
“We believe that when people make mistakes, they deserve the opportunity to remake their lives. And if we can give them the hope of a better future, and a way to get back on their feet, then we will leave our children with a country that is safer, stronger and worthy of our highest ideals.”