Joint statement with BMA and RCPCH on solitary confinement

Statement / comment
18 April 2018

Along with the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, we have released a joint statement calling on the government to ban solitary confinement of children and young offenders.

Dr Heidi Hales, Chair of the Forensic Adolescent Special Interest Group, Royal College of Psychiatrists

“Solitary confinement in custodial settings is a psychologically damaging process. This is true for young people even more than it is for adults.

“Banning this process in our youth justice establishments is an important step in the right direction. Punishment of young people for punishment’s sake brings out the worst in some young people and does nothing to help them become a positive member of society.

“Keeping them busy and active and helping them to value themselves, will reduce their risk of violent behaviour. Solitary confinement, meanwhile, will likely make them worse.

“Ultimately, more consideration must be paid to stopping these young people from committing a crime in the first place- opportunities are clearly being missed to help them onto a different path.”

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