March 19, 2020

Advocates urge governors and system administrators to stop new admissions, remove youth from facilities to reduce youth risk of infection

Washington, D.C. — Today, youth justice advocates in twenty-two states (listed below) demanded in letters sent to governors, juvenile justice system administrators, and other state and local officials the release of detained and incarcerated youth and the halting of new admissions to protect youth from the spread of COVID-19.

State advocates outlined several measures, including examining all pre- and post-adjudication release processes and mechanisms and to begin employing these as quickly as possible; removing youth who have COVID-19 symptoms or chronic illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes or other serious illnesses; and eliminating any form of detention or incarceration for youth unless a determination is made that a youth is a substantial safety risk to others.