A weak case for solitary confinement? Extraordinary measures in a youth detention home
Karin Osvaldsson Cromdal
This presentation entails a meeting between teachers and treatment assistants at a Swedish detention home for boys and young men (age 12-20). It was drawn from a 30h corpus of video- and audio-recordings of school activities, recess time and staff meetings. During signing over, the teachers report to the treatment assistants how the school day proceeded for the students. The discussion analysed here concerns an isolation event that had taken place earlier in the day, whereby a student was placed in solitary confinement under The Care of Young Persons (Special Provisions) Act (1990:52 15§). This is an extraordinary measure, only meant to be executed in those circumstances when a young person is considered a danger to her/himself or others. The presentation details how staff discuss the events leading up to the isolation decision, its realisation, and the legal anchoring of the decision, as well as its moral and educational consequences.