Youth Probation in the Time of COVID-19   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "Termed the 'workhorse of the juvenile justice system,' probation is the result of more than half of youth delinquency cases. And, as government and correctional leaders have reduced incarcerated populations to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic, its importance within the youth justice system has only grown. [...] [P]robation is not a panacea and can bring its own disadvantages. [...] Given such disutility and the fact that most youth will naturally grow out of risk-seeking behaviors as they mature, policymakers must exercise additional prudence when dealing with youth on probation, especially during the current pandemic. Indeed, concerns about contagion have already required a substantial shift from normal probation protocols and will continue to do so as we prepare for a possible new wave of cases in the fall. However, this challenge also presents us with a unique opportunity to examine probation policies and outcomes ever more closely, and to reorient the youth justice system's goals. Some short-term policy changes may be beneficial in the long run as more permanent changes, while others should be strictly reserved and relied upon in future crisis scenarios. Accordingly, this paper examines a few ways youth probation practices have shifted in response to the pandemic, and articulates the need for both short-term and long-term policy changes to preserve public health and safety."

Report Number:
R Street Policy Study No. 198
R Street Institute
Retrieved From:
R Street Institute: https://www.rstreet.org/
Media Type:
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