Bills in U.S. Senate and to End Youth Solitary
In 2017, federal legislators introduced three pieces of legislation to ban solitary confinement for youth in federal custody: the MERCY Act, the REDEEM Act, and Kalief’s Law. Both the MERCY Act and the REDEEM Act have broad bipartisan and bicameral support. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and James Lankford (R-OK), joined by Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Mia Love (R-UT) introduced the Maintaining dignity and Eliminating Restrictive Confinement of Youth Act, also known as the MERCY Act (S. 328 and H.R. 901). The bill prohibits solitary confinement for youth in federal custody except in emergency situations not to exceed 3 hours. The MERCY Act also requires the Attorney General to create a report on why and how solitary confinement was used, data on solitary confinement disaggregated by race and ethnicity, and steps taken by each facility to reduce solitary confinement. The Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment Actof 2017, or REDEEM Act (S. 827 and H.R. 1906), and Kalief’s Law (H.R. 47) impose similar limitations on solitary for youth in federal custody. These limits are based largely on the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Imitative (JDAI) Facility Assessment Standards.
- Click here to read the bills and learn more about federal legislative efforts.