The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released Alone and Afraid: Children Held in Solitary Confinement and Isolation in Juvenile Detention and Correctional Facilities. The report argues that solitary confinement and isolation — whether called “time out,” “room confinement,” or many other terms — can “cause serious psychological, physical, and developmental harm, resulting in persistent mental health problems…. These risks are magnified for children with disabilities or histories of trauma and abuse.”
For an overview of the issue, see the ACLU blog post, Time Out Is for Kids. This Isn’t, by Amy Fettig and Tanya Greene. It is important to note that the authors point out that a short time alone can be necessary for some children to diffuse a crisis, but this is different than placing children in isolation for hours.
Virtually every detention center in Indiana isolates children. The points to be examined are the length of the periods of isolation, how frequent are the isolations, and what other tools are being used to manage behaviors.
As part of the ACLU initiative, No Child Left Alone, a variety of resources, including briefing papers, have been developed and are available here.