Solitary Confinement Debated

Psychiatric News (11/11) reports that at the 2014 Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association House of Delegates, psychiatrists from the AMA Section Council on Psychiatry told delegates that “solitary confinement of juveniles in correctional settings is severely detrimental to adolescent health, with long-term consequences for development, and should be prohibited.”

During debate of a resolution opposing the use of solitary confinement, “some emergency and other physicians testified that seclusion of adults is necessary and unavoidable in certain emergency hospital settings, and physicians working in correctional facilities argued the same for adults in jails and prisons.” For their part, psychiatry council representatives “insisted that there should be a separate policy for juveniles, especially in correctional facilities.”

David Fassler, MD, alternate delegate from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said, “The potential psychiatric consequences of prolonged seclusion include depression, anxiety, and psychosis,” the consequences for which “juveniles in particular are at risk.”

Related Links:

— “AMA Leaders Debate Benefits, Harm of Solitary Confinement,” Psychiatric News, November 10, 2014.

Posted in In The News.