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Federal judge to rule in Wisconsin youth prison case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge is set to decide whether Wisconsin's juvenile prisons can continue using pepper spray and shackles on inmates and schedule them to long periods in isolation.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson has said he will issue an order Friday in court in response to a request from current and former inmates that the practices be immediately barred.

Peterson said on Thursday that he thinks the tactics are all overused, but he doesn't want to overreach and tell Wisconsin's prison system how to run its institutions. The youth prisons have been under federal investigation for more than two years.

The lawsuit argues that pepper spraying inmates and putting them in segregation units amounts to unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

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