A roundup of some of The Imprint’s most impactful stories from the past year
As the coronavirus pandemic began to spread across the country in the spring and summer of 2020, juvenile justice systems across the country were forced to determine how they would keep incarcerated youth and staff safe from the virus, often while coexisting in close indoor quarters.
In 2021, Imprint reporters learned a lot about what went on in the early days of the pandemic in these facilities, and what challenges continued to exist.
Puerto Rico’s tight restrictions in juvenile settings earned high marks in the early going. But as the pandemic wore on, the mental health toll on youth started to become apparent, leaving one federal judge to call the island’s juvenile incarceration policies “constitutionally unacceptable.”
California’s state-run youth prisons haven’t taken new entries since the summer, but that didn’t stop a fresh outbreak of coronavirus infections from spreading among youth and facility staff.