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Samantha Michaels, Mother Jones:

A federal judge on Monday ordered the Trump administration to stop medicating detained immigrant children without consent and to release some of them from a psychiatric center and high-security juvenile halls where they have allegedly been held in abusive conditions.

US District Court Judge Dolly Gee in California ruled that their detention in these facilities violated the Flores settlement, a 1997 federal court decision that requires immigrant kids in government custody to be held in the “least restrictive setting” possible. As I reported earlier this month following an investigation by Reveal, children at the Shiloh psychiatric center in Texas claimed they had been forcibly held down and injected with powerful psychotropic drugs that made them dizzy or incapacitated. Kids at juvenile halls in Virginia accused guards of beating them while they were handcuffed, strapping them to chairs with bags over their heads, or isolating them for long periods in solitary confinement.

Kids in the past reported being awakened in the early hours of morning and sent in shackles to juvenile halls without any warning or explanation of the accusations leveled against them. Some were detained there for three or four months without receiving written notice of the reason for their transfer—a delay that the judge said violated the terms of the Flores settlement. She also called for changes that would allow parents or other relatives to resume custody of their children from juvenile halls more quickly, after family members reported long delays.

Check out the full ruling below, and read more about conditions at the juvenile halls here.

Paul Ciano

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