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Federal judge signs off on juvenile-prison deal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has signed off on an agreement that would end the use of pepper spray and nearly eliminate the use of solitary confinement inWisconsin’s juvenile prisons.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson gave final approval to the deal at a settlement hearing on Thursday. The agreement would also greatly limit when handcuffs and other restraints could be used.

The Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake prisons for boys and girls are scheduled to close by 2021 under a restructuring of the state’s juvenile-justice system. That restructuring was approved by the Legislature and Gov. Scott Walker this year.

The settlement agreement ends a class-action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin and the Juvenile Law Center, which represents inmates.

To make sure its terms are being complied with, the deal calls for monitoring.

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