Al Jalame – 100 professionals speak out against the use of solitary confinement on children
Defence for Children International-Palestine Section
February 26, 2012Since 2008, DCI-Palestine has documented 38 cases in which children have been placed in isolation at these facilities for periods ranging from 48 hours up to 65 days in one case. The average length of time the children remained in solitary confinement was 11 days. The detrimental psychological and physical effects of placing a person in solitary confinement are well documented and include: anxiety and despair; disorientation; depression; insomnia; psychosis; self-mutilation; and suicide attempts.
On 30 January 2012, over 100 prominent professionals, clergy, educators, physicians, academics and artists from the U.S. and Israel sent a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior officials raising their concerns about the continued use of solitary confinement on children at the Al Jalame and Petah Tikva interrogation centres in Israel.
On a number of occasions, most recently in October 2011, various UN bodies, including the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, have called for a complete prohibition on the use of solitary confinement on children. This call for a complete ban on placing children in isolation is echoed in the letter.