Federal civil rights review: Baltimore jail illegally keeping teens in solitary confinement

The U.S. Justice Department says teenagers awaiting trial on adult charges in Baltimore are being kept in solitary confinement for far too long — up to 143 days in one case.

The department's civil rights attorneys say being isolated for so long can damage a person's mental health — especially with teenagers whose brains are still developing.

The State of Maryland says juvenile detainees accused of breaking jail rules should spend no longer than a week in solitary, and yet teenagers inside the Baltimore City Detention Center are being isolated for 13 days on average, and in some cases, far longer.

State corrections officials told The Associated Press on Friday that they are committed to improving the situation.