WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama in an opinion piece published in the Washington Post on Monday announced that he is banning solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons, citing concerns about its harmful psychological effects.
The move comes amid a national movement demanding criminal justice reform, which was sparked by numerous high-profile police killings in recent years.
In the opinion piece, Obama also said solitary confinement could no longer be used as a punishment for low-level infractions. He said the package of changes would include an expansion of treatment for mentally ill prisoners and an increase in the amount of time inmates in solitary can spend outside of their cells.
He said the changes would affect some 10,000 federal prisoners and stemmed from a review of the practice he directed the U.S. Justice Department to conduct last summer.