COVID-19, Racial Justice, and the Transformation of Our Youth Justice System
Virtual Convening | June 30 | 11:00 am
WHEN: Tuesday, June 30 | 11:00am - 12:15pm
WHERE: Virtual Session [link will be provided to registrants]
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nationwide decline in admissions to and average daily populations within youth detention facilities has been stunning. A survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation reveals that admissions fell by more than 50% between March 1 and April 30, exceeding the total percentage reductions that took place over the prior 13 years. The current public health crisis has brought renewed vigor to the question of whether institutional incarceration should be used in response to offenses committed by young people and, if not, what other options would be more suitable.
At the same time, in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, protestors across the country have challenged the underlying philosophy and approach of law enforcement and the U.S. criminal legal system, including calling for a major shift of resources away from policing toward greater community services and supports. Similarly, youth justice advocates are questioning the efficacy of our reliance on the institutional incarceration of young people, as well as the compliance, surveillance, and sanctions-based approach of juvenile probation.
What would a transformed youth justice system look like? Are there examples of sustained deep reforms that can offer lessons and a path forward? Where do we go from here?
Moderator: Patrick McCarthy
The Honorable Edwina G. Mendelson