BLACK YOUTH: National Survey Shows the Evolution of Alarming Racial Disparities in Juvenile Criminal Justice System During COVID-19 Era

Photo credits: The Brian S. Laviage Law Office

By Victor Tramm – (Source: – Beneath the stifling smokescreen of a global coronavirus outbreak, a crisis within a crisis inside the United States has evolved right in the confines of its national juvenile criminal justice system.

Photo credits: The Brian S. Laviage Law Office

America’s domestic death toll represents a whopping 20 percent of the larger, superseding COVID-19 death toll, which has affected the entire global population. The U.S. often brands itself as having the best, most advanced, and most revolutionary health care system on Earth. This historic boast usually serves as a draconian rationale for why America’s health care system is so expensive.

However, it is quite contradictory to see that in today’s modern medical era, Americans are the majority of the world’s people who are dying of a curable, novel coronavirus. But the medical establishment is not the only facet of U.S. societal functionality that is miserably failing. The U.S. criminal justice system’s rotting corpse is also producing a drastic cause for alarm in the modern world as a human rights issue.

Empirical evidence of this failure can be seen clearly in the recent national survey findings, which were conducted by researchers working on behalf of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. This charitable organization’s main focus is predicated on community outreach activity, which serves the purposes of children who are products of complex familial circumstances and disadvantaged communities.

From April 2020 to February 2021, the Foundation’s survey and research project staff combed through a large combination of U.S.-based metropolitan areas, as well as a strategically selected number of rural municipalities.

“This survey is unique because it captures data in close to real-time from a large group of jurisdictions that span all regions of the United States and range from large urban counties to small rural courts,” reads an online report about the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Youth Detention Survey During COVID-19.

“In a typical month, the Foundation receives data from more than 150 jurisdictions in more than 30 states, containing more than 30% of the nation’s youth population (ages 10 to 17). The survey is conducted with assistance from Empact Solutions and the Pretrial Justice Institute,” the report goes on to read.

After observing the size and scope of this survey’s mission, it is fair to say that researchers were able to compile a sample size, which is reflective of what is accurately going on in America from an aggregate standpoint. The race devil finds itself in the details of the digits, which were published in a data release titled A Pandemic High for the Number of Black Youth in Juvenile Detention.

The poorly executed, sloppily planned-out online learning systems being implemented by America’s public school district during the COVID-19 era have created difficulties at home for many children of color. Many black children, in particular, live inside low-income households. Most of the time, their often single, female, over-worked, and underpaid parents do not have the time or wherewithal to help them in the midst of an ongoing national crisis.

“Teachers in the highest-poverty schools report that nearly a third of their students are not logging in or otherwise making contact,” wrote Benjamin Herold, a columnist for Education Week Magazine.

“That figure is almost three times higher than the percentage of truant students reported by teachers in schools with the lowest number of students from families living in poverty,” he continued.

These problems at home are compiled by the national school-to-prison pipeline, which has reinvigorated itself under the new COVID-19-backed cloak of obscurity.

“Jurisdictions have told us they think that longer lengths of stay in detention are being driven by a detention population that now only contains youth with the most serious offenses and complex cases,” said Nate Balis, the director of the Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Strategy Group.

“If that’s so for all racial and ethnic groups, then jurisdictions must determine why it’s primarily Black and Latino youth who seem to be getting stuck in detention,” he added, according to the Foundation’s website.

Below is a table of statistics, which reveal the truth behind a sobering, race-based tragedy being orchestrated by various U.S.-based juvenile justice authorities (courtesy of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s survey data).

-Releases from detention were slower to occur in January 2021 than during any month since the pandemic began, especially for Black and Latino youth of color.

-The population of Black and Latino youth grew 14% and 2%, respectively, from May 1, 2020, through Feb. 1, 2021, while the population of white, non-Latino youth fell 6%.

-Overall, the youth detention population rose by more than 6% from May 1 to Feb. 1, driven by Black and Latino youth lingering longer in detention.

-Admissions to detention remained low — almost 50% lower than their pre-pandemic level in January 2020.

-Detention facilities recorded fewer active COVID-19 cases among youth and staff than when the case counts peaked at year-end 2020 into early 2021.

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