May 19, 2015
Contra Costa County’s probation department, in a coordinated settlement, agreed to modify their policy of physical isolation in juvenile facilities so that it would last for no more than four hours and only if there was immediate harm to themselves or others. The County’s Office of Education will develop individual education activities for youth in these circumstances who were also living with disabilities.
Disability Rights Advocates and Public Counsel filed a lawsuit in 2013 on behalf of the plaintiffs, Contra Costa County youth with psychiatric and developmental disabilities who had been locked inside cells for up to 23 hours per day and taken away from their special education classes, which they were entitled to participate in.
“The promise of this settlement for youth in the juvenile hall is real rehabilitation, support instead of isolation and segregation, and high-quality special education services and options,” said Public Counsel Education Rights Director Laura Faer.
Organizations mentioned/involved: Public Counsel