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OP-ED: Incarcerated Children Must Be Kept Safe From COVID-19
By April 13, 2020|
Former Stoneleigh Fellow Leslie Acoca authored an op-ed for WitnessLA outlining four steps that youth justice facilities can take to keep the COVID-19 pandemic from harming incarcerated youth.
More than 200 million of the nation’s children and youth are being asked to stay home with their families in order to keep them and everyone else safe from COVID-19. Meanwhile, 48,000 other American kids, between the ages of 12 and 17 — the majority of them children of color from low-income communities — are not at home, but in 2000 locked juvenile facilities across the U.S.
To make matters worse, apart from the threat of the coronavirus, these locked up children are among the most medically vulnerable adolescents in America, with lives that are routinely further compromised by the lack of adequate health and trauma screenings they receive in youth detention facilities — even during a pandemic.