Petition to ban solitary confinement for youth has over 3,500 signatures

Almost 4,000 people have signed a joint petition from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Student Alliance for Prison Reform pressuring Attorney General Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Former Fox News correspondent James Rosen left amid harassment allegations: report Issa retiring from Congress MORE to ban solitary confinement for youth in federal custody.

“Solitary can amount to torture, and the consequences can be devastating for children because they are still developing — that's why we must stop this cruel practice,” the ACLU says on its petition page.

Next week, members of the Student Alliance for Prison Reform plan to educate students about the need for prison reform at eight colleges around the country, including the universities of Harvard, Yale and Princeton.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ Ex-Sheriff David Clarke: Trump only one who 'cares about black American citizens' DHS chief takes heat over Trump furor MORE has already expressed concern about how solitary confinement is being used to discipline inmates.

In February, Durbin (D-Ill.) called on the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to reform how solitary confinement is used to discipline inmates.

Though a BOP report found that the number of inmates being held in solitary confinement is declining, Durbin said the U.S. still holds more prisoners in segregated restricted housing any other diplomatic nation.

Originally used to segregate the most violent prisoners in the nation’s supermax prisons, Durbin’s office said the practice has been used more frequently in recent years, including for the supposed protection of vulnerable groups like immigrants, children and LGBT inmates.