COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking a court order to force Ohio juvenile detention facilities to stop what it describes as rampant use of seclusion to discipline boys with mental health disorders.
A motion filed Wednesday in federal court in Ohio seeks a temporary restraining order to limit the punishment of mentally ill boys through solitary confinement at four facilities.
Federal prosecutors say Ohio violates the boys’ due process rights by depriving them of education, exercise and mental health care, and doesn’t appropriately adjust treatment when they return to the general population. It says the boys suffer “irreparable harm.”
The Ohio Department of Youth Services says it offers individualized behavioral health services and uses seclusion as a last resort. It says youth in seclusion still get treatment and programming.