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Louisiana limits solitary confinement for youth  News

Louisiana limits solitary confinement for youth  News

The governor signed Louisiana’s first law restricting isolation for youth after two deaths and an investigation into harsh conditions in a new state juvenile facility.

This article was published in partnership with ProPublica, a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power, and The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization covering the U.S. criminal justice system. Sign up to receive ProPublica’s biggest stories as soon as they’re published. Sign up for The Marshall Project’s newsletters, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 

Lawmakers in Louisiana passed new restrictions on the use of solitary confinement in juvenile facilities following an investigation by NBC News, ProPublica and The Marshall Project into harsh conditions in a youth lockup. 

The law, which will go into effect Aug. 1, marks the first time that lawmakers in a state known as the world’s incarceration capital have put limits on solitary confinement for youth, advocates say. 

The news organizations’ investigation found that in one of the state’s facilities, the Acadiana Center for Youth at St. Martinville, boys as young as 14 were held in solitary confinement virtually around the clock for weeks. The boys were forced to sleep on the floor in the dark and were shackled when they left their cells to shower. In this facility, which opened last summer, the teens received no education for months, in violation of state and federal law.

The conditions were so severe, one expert said, they amounted to “child abuse.”

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