Date of Alert: 
Monday, May 27, 2013

 Please take action NOW -- ask Senators Steinberg (916-651-4006) and deLeon (916-651-4022) to remove SB 61 from the suspense calendar so the Senate can vote YES.Please forward this action alert to your networks. Call NOW.  

Act now to help thousands of youth.

 Dear Friends and Allies,

In California, county and state juvenile detention facilities routinely place youth in solitary confinement, which is a harsh, inhumane, and ineffective practice.  Juvenile solitary confinement amounts to total isolation.  Youth receive no exposure to other people, programming, school, exercise, sound, or voices–except perhaps for an anguished and tortured scream from somewhere down the hall.   We are the only country that continues to place youth in these deprived conditions.  Further, six states–Connecticut, Arizona, Maine, Oklahoma, Alaska, and West Virginia—have ended this practice.  This is because solitary confinement has been demonstrated to lead to mental illness, trauma, suicide, self-harm, recidivism, and violence.  The damaging effects of this practice have resulted in three-quarters of all youth in juvenile detention centers being diagnosed with some sort of mental illness.  In addition, the vast majority (62%) of all suicides committed in juvenile detention centers are done while the youth is in solitary confinement or within 10 days of exiting such conditions.  The time is now to limit the use of juvenile solitary confinement.  We need your help to get this done.  Children should not be placed in these dehumanizing conditions.  Moreover, if such extreme measures are to be used even temporarily, they need to be regulated.  

SB 61 (Yee) prohibits solitary confinement for juveniles, except for security of others and unless all other less-restrictive options have been exhausted. The bill sets guidelines for immediate diagnosis and treatment – clinical monitoring within 1 hour, evaluations and reports every 4 hours thereafter. SB 61 also requires implementation of individualized suicide crisis intervention plan before committing any juvenile to solitary who has shown any tendency toward self-harm.

Take Action!
Call Senate members D. Steinberg (Senate Pro Tem) and K. DeLeon (Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee) and urge them to remove SB 61 from the suspense file TODAY! 
Senate member Steinberg's office: (916) 651 4006  Fax (916) 323 2263
Senate member DeLeon's office:     (916) 651 4022    Fax  (916) 327 8817
Sample Script: 
Hi, my name is ________ and I am calling to urge the Senator to support SB 61 and pass it out of Appropriations.  Limiting and regulating the practice of juvenile solitary confinement is long overdue.  Far too many youth are subjected to the harsh and damaging conditions of solitary confinement.  I strongly urge you to support SB 61.   Thank you.