Plan to study youth solitary confinement advances

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Associated Press

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 7:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 9:03 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas lawmakers have advanced a plan to study the use of solitary confinement in county juvenile jails.

In a 31-0 vote, the Texas Senate approved the measure as part of a broad juvenile justice bill.

State records show juvenile jails placed teenagers in solitary confinement more than 35,000 times last year. Some counties classified "horseplay" among "major violations" leading to confinements of 24 hours. Under current law, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department collects little information about the confinements.

Democratic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio originally proposed limiting confinements to four hours. Her bill would have restricted confinements to major incidents such as assaults.

But her proposal met resistance from law enforcement officials. The remaining provisions merely require the juvenile justice department to collect data on the confinements.

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