Philadelphia Puts Kids in Solitary Confinement

Philadelphia County regularly puts kids as young as fifteen in solitary confinement inside adult jails despite assurances in 2016 from jail officials that the practice would stop. Pennsylvania law allows some youth to be charged as adults, and Philadelphia houses those youth inside one of its adult jails, the Philadelphia Industrial Detention Center (PICC). According to a recent article in Philly.com, dozens of youth are put in solitary confinement for an average of 32 days at a time. Philadelphia advocates argue that the county should house these youth in the local juvenile detention center, or the Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Services Center. While federal law requires “any person under the age of 18, and incarcerated or detained in a prison or jail” to be housed separately from adults, it does not prevent juvenile justice facilities from housing youth charged as adults. Earlier in 2017, State Representative Joanna McClinton, a former Philadelphia public defender, announced her intent to introduce legislation that would prevent youth from being housed in adult jails before trial unless charged with homicide.