Solitary confinement, torture and children: minimum standards

Date: 7th July 2022
Category: Special protection measures

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Certain detention practices, for example in Scottish prisons, may amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (CIDT). This briefing sets out the minimum threshold for a finding of torture or CIDT in detention, in breach of children’s rights.

The briefing looks at the different legal prohibitions against torture, CIDT and solitary confinement. It then goes on to examine a range of laws and policies and compares what they define as torture, CIDT and solitary confinement. Finally, it analyses factors such as intent, purpose and severity which are used to determine when these practices amount to prohibited treatment for adults. When it comes to children, the briefing discusses how children face similar situations to adults and this should raise significant concerns for the Scottish criminal justice system.