A range of international instruments provides that solitary confinement should not be
used other than in the most exceptional circumstances. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT 1987) states :-
‘Solitary confinement can, in certain circumstances, amount to inhuman and degrading treatment; in any event, all forms of solitary confinement should be as short as possible’.
The terms solitary confinement, segregation, single separation and isolation are commonly used across the juvenile secure system in England.The practices vary from the possibility of a child spending several weeks in prison punishment cells,to a few minutes alone in a bedroom or office.
On behalf of the Howard League For Penal Reform, The Lord Carlile of Berriew QC carried out an independent inquiry into the use of physical restraint, solitary confinement and forcible strip searching of children in prisons, secure training centres and local authority secure children’s homes. In that inquiry he found that…
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