program must be geared to meet the individual needs of each student.” 181 In Nelson v. Heyne, the
court determined that although the facility had adopted a differential treatment program for youth
in isolation that required the development of Individualized Treatment Programs (ITPs), the
program “appear[ed] to be more form than substance” and the “implementation of the program
[fell] far short of its goals.” 182 Accordingly, in order to provide the constitutionally required level
of treatment to isolated youth, a facility must create and actually implement an effective,
individualized treatment program for each child.
The second fundamental condition of a constitutional treatment program is that “[t]he
institution must employ sufficient numbers of qualified professional and support personnel to
enable it to provide the individualized programs found to be appropriate for each student.” 183 To
provide adequate treatment for youth in such facilities, sufficient staff must include a combination
of psychologists, psychiatrists, “qualified counselors to implement the treatment program and to
provide individual and group counseling,” and outside experts as needed for specialized
Finally, due process requires that the institution “provide an environment which is
conducive to rehabilitation as well as sufficient programs, including education, vocational
training, and recreation, to enable the students to obtain the necessary skills to return to
society.” 185 Courts have found that conditions of confinement in isolation units are
unconstitutionally non-rehabilitative, and in some cases, actually “anti-rehabilitative.” 186 The
isolation unit the Affleck court deemed “anti-rehabilitative” afforded the confined children no
outdoor exercise, an hour-and-a-half of education on weekdays, and generally only allowed the
youth out of their rooms for daily showers and to get their meal trays, though their meals were
eaten in their rooms. 187 The court also concluded that the conditions of confinement in a similar
unit in the same facility were “detrimental to rehabilitation.” 188 On this unit, the confined
children were rarely allowed outside for exercise, were given no vocational training or arts and
crafts programming, were provided with only an hour of educational programming on weekdays,
and spent their free time watching television, roaming the hall, playing cards, or doing
calisthenics. 189 Therefore, the conditions of an isolation unit must provide sufficient training and
programming aimed at rehabilitating the children and preparing them to become productive
members of society upon their release.
Accordingly, in determining whether use of isolation on juvenile delinquents violates due
process, most courts evaluate whether the restriction was punitive, and if the use of isolation was
unreasonably restrictive. Some courts, however, also determine whether the use of isolation is a
violation of a juvenile’s right to treatment, while others have not gone that far. 190 The due
process analysis is thus different from the standards employed when an Eighth Amendment
application is made regarding juvenile conditions, as discussed below.
181 Id. (citing Nelson v. Heyne, 491 F.2d 352, 360 (7th Cir. 1974)).
182 Nelson v. Heyne, 355 F. Supp. 451, 460 (N.D. Ind. 1972), aff’d, 491 F.2d 352 (7th Cir. 1974).
183 Morgan, 432 F. Supp. at 1141 (citing Martarella v. Kelley, 349 F. Supp. 575, 601 (S.D.N. Y. 1972)).
184 Id. at 1143.
185 Id. (citing Inmates of Boys’ Training Sch. v. Affleck, 346 F. Supp. 1354, 1369-70 (D.R.I. 1972)).
186 Inmates of Boys’ Training Sch. v. Affleck, 346 F. Supp. 1354, 1367 (D.R.I. 1972).
190 See, e.g., Santana v. Collazo, 714 F.2d 1172, 1175-76 (1st Cir. 1983) (holding that a juvenile does not have a constitutional right to