Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Alone: Teens in Solitary Confinement

This is an important video to see, especially following U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's remarks that the excessive use of solitary confinement for juveniles needs to stop. Various youth tell us their stories about how isolation has affected them. Spread throughout are observation from correctional personnel. This investigation "toggles between New York City and Santa Cruz, where young people tell their own stories of isolation and how the justice system can do better."

The program begins with a look at Rikers Island, New York City's enormous jail complex. The program then concludes with a visit to the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall, a national model that has "reduced the use of isolation so much that corrections officials around the country routinely traveled to California's Central Coast to see how they did it".