ACTION CENTERHelp ensure a fair future for children
We must continue to fight for children's health and safety by removing them from crowded detention facilities and placing them in homes. It's got to be families over facilities--now more than ever.
As your constituent, I am deeply concerned about the rights of children inside juvenile justice facilities. Many of these children are being placed in 20-hour-plus solitary confinement for their own "protection," but in unventilated cells that often have not been cleaned properly. Children can have no family visitors, and their educations are on hold. Putting kids in lockdown is not keeping them safe or controlling the spread of infection. Staff, probation officers, and others are testing positive and bringing the coronavirus into confined spaces. Meanwhile, terrified children are hiding any symptoms they may have to try and avoid isolation. Those who are put in solitary suffer emotional and psychological consequences.In a 2020 survey of juvenile justice agencies in 33 states, The Annie E. Casey Foundation found that Black children ages 10-17 are not being released at the same rate as white children. Releasing youth from prisons and detention centers will help dismantle the persistent practices of racism present within the youth justice system and allow for more equitable treatment of youth of color.Institutionalized youth are less healthy than their peers and suffer from several pre-existing conditions that may make them more likely to become seriously ill if exposed to COVID-19. Putting in place proper responses and protocols to deal with the threat of COVID-19 in juvenile justice systems is critical for protecting the health of detained youth and the health of the greater community.
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