fees and fines: Man with gray hair counts dollars and coins at table

Moratorium on Juvenile Court Fees and Fines Can Ease Family Burdens During COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic explodes into a full-blown public health and economic crisis, states around the country are beginning to recognize that now is not the time to assess and collect fees and fines in the criminal legal system. These emergency reforms are win-win: Families keep the money they need for daily survival, and criminal courts free up their time and attention to concentrate on more pressing issues.

collaborate: Sad teenager girl in medical mask behind bars.

Pandemic Is Chance For Leaders to Collaborate on Transforming Youth Justice

From Louisiana to New York, juvenile detention centers are reporting more staff and children testing positive for COVID-19. Incarcerated youth are extremely vulnerable to infection. We know these numbers will only continue to get worse unless youth justice systems act immediately. Releasing youth from locked facilities where social distancing is impossible or avoiding sending them there in the first place is critical. This is why even those of us who have experience running such facilities are calling for action.

doctors: A teenager with a ponytail on his head, wearing a medical mask, sits and uses a mobile phone. Horizontal bars in the background.

Doctors Call for Releasing Youth from Secure Custody During COVID-19 Crisis

Across the world, we are all racing to save the most vulnerable in our societies from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, however, we are leaving some of our children trapped with nowhere to turn, nowhere to run.

juvenile justice staff: a young woman in a prison cell

Staff, Youth at Enormous Risk of COVID-19 in Correctional Facilities

(This column is dedicated to the memory of Paul DeMuro, who passed earlier this week from a non-COVID-19 related illness. Paul was a longtime leader and mentor to so many in the work to reduce incarceration and improve the lives of young people and families in the justice system.)

On April 1, Kenneth Moore, a youth development representative at Washington, D.C.’s juvenile justice agency died of COVID-19. Kenneth was the first correctional officer in the nation to succumb to the virus. Today, many more staff and youth inside correctional facilities are sick and dying. I had the privilege of helping lead the District’s juvenile justice agency, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS), between 2005 and 2010.

planning: Young man as a logistics apprentice in training

How to Plan Now to Keep Juvenile Justice Ahead of the Curve

Over the course of the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve heard a lot about curves. Graphs show terrifying projections of how infection rates will spike and strain our health care system if we don’t take dramatic steps to slow the virus’ spread.

California: Young woman picking up garbage in bag at beach

Plunging Youth Crime Is Opportunity For California

The massive, 82% plummet in youth arrests over the last quarter-century has devastated California’s youth correctional system, the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

communities of color: 3 young african-american women around table discussing something important.

Communities of Color Must Be Centered in Gun Violence Prevention Movement

Communities of color continue to be disproportionately impacted by gun violence across the United States. Unfortunately, communities that are most impacted by gun violence are often plagued by structural inequities that perpetuate this violence. That is why when we look to address gun violence, we must have a holistic conversation to ensure that those most impacted are being centered in this conversation and moved from the margins.