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Judge to weigh solitary confinement, pepper spray at Wisconsin's youth prisons

Lawsuit seeks changes at prisons
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Posted at 7:05 AM, Jun 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 08:05:28-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge is set to hear evidence in a case seeking to halt the use of solitary confinement, pepper spray and the shackling of inmates at Wisconsin's troubled youth prisons.

The hearing Thursday before U.S. District Judge James Peterson comes in a lawsuit filed against the state Department of Corrections by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Juvenile Law Center. They are asking the judge to temporarily ban the disciplinary tactics at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake prisons while its lawsuit challenging them as unconstitutional proceeds.

Attorneys asked the judge to close the hearing when videos are shown that reveal the identities of young inmates as they are pepper sprayed. A coalition of media outlets and groups was objecting to closing the hearing to show the videos.