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Identifying COVID-19 Policies and Practice that Juvenile Justice Systems Should Maintain Long-Term: Listening Session 2: Juvenile Justice Defenders

NCJ Number
Kristan Russell; Shelby Hickman; Cait Kanewske; Marly Zeigler; Gene Siegel; Scott Decker; Jennifer Lafferty
Date Published
7 pages

This document reports on listening sessions with juvenile defenders that explored the application and outcomes of policy changes to juvenile justice system practices in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the central goal of determining which practices should be continued, and how.


This report describes research activities that aimed to answer three questions: how U.S. juvenile justice systems responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and how policies change regarding transfers between and releases from juvenile residential facilities; how the different policy responses are associated with youth and public safety outcomes; and what resources are needed to sustain those policies that were associated with positive outcomes. The authors describe the setting, participants, and focus of their research activities, and provide a detailed breakdown of their findings. They conclude that the most prominent theme in this listening session was that pandemic-related policy changes have the potential to support youth and promote public safety, but they must be implemented fairly, equitably, and transparently. The authors also call for improved data collection in order to better understand the lasting effects of those policy changes.