YSRP’s Co-Director Lauren Fine is quoted in The Inquirer discussing the practice in Philadelphia of using solitary confinement for youth in adults jails while being held pretrial. In her April 19, 2017 Inquirer article Why Can’t Philly Stop Holding Kids in Solitary Confinement, reporter Samantha Melamed brings light to the issue, voicing perspectives from a range of stakeholders including the Philadelphia Department of Prisons. Citing the role of prosecutors in deciding whether so-called ‘direct-file’ youths (or those facing charges in adult court) can be held in juvenile facilities before they go to trial , Melamed writes:
Lauren Fine, codirector of the nonprofit Youth Sentencing and Reentry Project, pointed to a 2010 state law that says that, if a judge and prosecutor agree, direct-file youths who are seeking transfer to juvenile court may be held in juvenile facilities.
Fine said juvenile-justice facilities have more training and resources to deal with the needs and challenges of young people — and they are subject to regulations limiting confinement.
“Our understanding is at the [city’s juvenile detention center], solitary is not being used on children,” Fine said. “It is being used frequently on children in the adult jail, where they are being held pretrial — and prior to a determination of whether they even belong in the adult system.”