Chapter 2. An Examination of the Prevalence of COVID-19 in the Texas Juvenile Justice System

$39.50

Rachel J. Slover1 and Rebecca Fry2, PhD
1University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Gilling School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America

Part of the book: Environmental Health: Poverty, Race and Child Health in the Time of COVID-19

Abstract

COVID-19 has posed a nationwide public health emergency, and one of the most at-risk yet concurrently overlooked populations in the United States has been youth in the juvenile justice system. In order to understand how to break the cycle of environmental health disparities faced by incarcerated youth, an examination was performed of the prevalence of COVID-19 in the juvenile justice system through a Texas case study – chosen due to the state’s large, incarcerated youth population, vulnerability to COVID-19, and transparency in data reporting. Data on demographics and COVID-19 case counts were gathered on Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) facilities to understand who comprises the at-risk population and the extent of that risk. The potential for community influence on facility vulnerability was examined through data from the NIEHS Pandemic Vulnerability Index (PVI) and data from the TJJD on staff COVID-19 case counts. Analysis found racial disparities between placement in high versus lower-security TJJD facilities and between the state and TJJD population compositions. Findings further demonstrated baseline TJJD county vulnerability, high COVID-19 case counts for incarcerated youth, likely disease vectors from the staff to the youth, and disparities in case counts between facilities. Further research should be conducted to assess the sources of the disparities and how to best inform methods to break the cycle of health disparities and strive for equitable youth justice.


References


[1] Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. URL: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/.
[2] CDC. Health equity considerations and racial and ethnic minority groups. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/health-equity/race-ethnicity.html.
[3] CDC. Certain medical conditions and risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, 2021. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medicalconditions.html.
[4] The Marshall Project. Haney declaration, 2020. URL: https://www.themarshallproject.org/documents/6884322-Haney-Declaration.
[5] American Academy of Family Physicians. Incarceration and health:
A family medicine perspective (position paper). AAFP, 2017. URL:https://www.aafp.org/about/policies/all/incarceration.html.    
[6] Taquet M, Geddes JR, Husain M, Luciano S, Harrison PJ. 6-month neurological and psychiatric outcomes in 236,379 survivors of COVID-19: A retrospective cohort study using electronic health records. Lancet Psychiatry 2021;8(5):416–27.
[7] Annie E Casey Foundation. Survey: Amid pandemic, youth detention population
fell 24% in one month, matching a recent seven-year period. Annie E Casey
Foundation, 2020. URL: https://www.aecf.org/blog/survey-amid-pandemic-youthdetention-population-fell-24-in-one-month-matchi.
[8] Hager E. Solitary, brawls, Nno teachers: Coronavirus makes juvenile jails look like
adult prisons. Marshall Project, 2020. URL: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2020/05/12/solitary-brawls-no-teachers-coronavirus-makes-juvenile-jailslook-like-adult-prisons.
[9] Youth justice under the Coronavirus: Linking public health protections with the
Movement for Youth Decarceration. The Sentencing Project, 2020. URL:
https://www.sentencingproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Youth-JusticeUnder-the-Coronavirus.pdf.
[10] Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. SAHM calls for action to protect
justice-involved youth. AdolescentHealth.org, 2020. URL: https://www.adolescenthealth.org/About-SAHM/Press-Releases/COVID-19-PandemicResponse-II-Calls-for-Action-to.aspx.
[11] Hager E. Many juvenile jails are now almost entirely filled with young people of
color. The Marshall Project, 2021. URL: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2021/03/08/many-juvenile-jails-are-now-almost-entirely-filled-with-youngpeople-of-color.
[12] Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Juvenile Justice State
profile: Texas. OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. URL: https://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/special_topics/stateprofile.asp.
[13] Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency. Prevention COVID-19 response. URL:
https://www.tjjd.texas.gov/index.php/covid19.
[14] US Census Bureau. QuickFacts. URL: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219.
[15] National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. NIEHS COVID-19 Pandemic
Vulnerability Index (PVI). US Department of Health and Human Services. URL:
https://covid19pvi.niehs.nih.gov/.
[16] Office of the Texas Governor. News Press Release. URL: https://gov.texas.gov/news/category/press-release.

 

 

Category:

Publish with Nova Science Publishers

We publish over 800 titles annually by leading researchers from around the world. Submit a Book Proposal Now!

See some of our Authors and Editors