Juvenile detention centers more likely to reduce white detainees in response to COVID, exacerbating racial gaps in youth detention

The Marshall Project reports on a new survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which collected data across 30 states and found that by May 2020, youth detention centers were releasing white youths at higher rates than their Black counterparts. As a result, racial gaps in youth detention have widened, even though teens—including teens of color—were less likely to be arrested in 2020 than in prior years. The authors suggest that differences in severity of offenses may partly account for the disparity in releases, as well as the courts’ acknowledgement that different levels of home and community resources are available to Black and white teens when they exit detention. The authors also acknowledge—with agreement from the American Academy of Pediatrics—that adolescents who have remained incarcerated through the pandemic are in an emergency situation, as they weather time without in-person learning opportunities and visits from loved ones. #covid-19 #juvenilejustice #racialequity

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