COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) --New statistics show Ohio juvenile prisons increased its use of solitary confinement last year.
The numbers come as the state prepares to defend itself against a federal lawsuit charging that the facilities illegally secluded mentally ill boys.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that juvenile offenders at Department of Youth Services facilities were in seclusion units a total of 209,266 hours last year — which averages about 453 hours for each youth in all of the facilities, whether they were actually placed in seclusion or not.
That compares with 187,600 hours in 2012, an average of about 362 per offender. The number of hours mentally ill offenders spent in seclusion was not available.
The state must submit a response Friday to the lawsuit filed last week by the U.S. Justice Department.