CPR has been part of a national movement to end or substantially reduce the use of solitary confinement in prisons and jails. CPR attorneys have worked with national and state coalitions seeking to publicize the disastrous effects of solitary on all prisoners and, particularly, those with disabilities.
CPR has filed or participated in several cases challenging the excess use of solitary confinement, the lack of appropriate health services and the misuse of restraints. It has negotiated settlements with respect to local jails and state prisons that limit the use of solitary for individuals with mental illness, prohibit the use of certain isolation cells or “cages”, require the creation of separate treatment units in state pirsons, regulate the use of restraint, mandate the provision of appropriate and timely mental health treatment, and increase the number of mental health professionals.
Through litigation, policy work and consultation, CPR seeks to change the circumstances that cause so many youth with mental illness to be detained, to improve their conditions of confinement, and ultimately, to prevent their incarceration.
For example, CPR has brought cases that seek to:
- end the misuse of solitary confinement;
- challenge the lack of mental health and other health care services in facilities;
- ensure that detained youth have access to appropriate education programs;
- guarantee a right to counsel at parole revocation hearings;
- close or phase down juvenile institutions; and
- increase community diversion and placement programs