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Responding to the Pandemic: PbS Issue Brief 2: Prevention and Protection Strategies, June 2021

NCJ Number
Kim Godfrey Lovett
Date Published
June 2021
2 pages

This report from the Performance-based Standards (PbS) Program - which collects data on criminal justice facility operations, conditions, services, and quality of life – presents data related to the COVID-19 pandemic as of June 2021 in 148 juvenile correctional facilities across the United States.


Agencies shared common strategies and developed creative solutions that can continue to inform the field. PbS continues to share its data for a better understanding of the impact, presence, and prevalence of COVID-19 in juvenile justice programs and the strategies used to reduce its spread. The data PbS shares is reported voluntarily by 148 correction, detention, assessment, and community-based residential programs in 32 states. During the month of April 2021, 90 percent or more of PbS participating facilities were implementing most recommended pandemic responses. Half of the facilities discontinued in-person education. The majority provided online education (61 percent) and provided laptops (66 percent). Most facilities quarantined youths on specially designated living units (84 percent), with varying degrees of interaction and activities. Some facilities permitted them to interact 6 feet apart, wearing masks, and following prevention protocols. In other facilities, youths were confined to their rooms for up to 14 days and/or until they tested negative for the virus. Youths were placed in medical isolation when they tested positive, displayed symptoms of the virus, or while waiting for test results. The average daily population of youth in facilities remains below pre-pandemic levels. 1 figure