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Children and COVID-19 Research Library

UNICEF Innocenti's curated library of COVID-19 + Children research

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Developing creative methodologies: using lyric writing to capture young peoples' experiences of the youth offending services during the COVID-19 pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Dean Wilkinson; Jayne Price; Charlene Crossley

Published: April 2022   Journal: Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

The COVID-19 lockdowns (2020–2021) disrupted all aspects of usual functioning of the criminal justice system, the outcomes and impact of which are largely still unknown. The pandemic has affected individuals across the wider society, this includes a negative impact on the social circumstances of children and young people involved within youth offending services (YOS) (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation, 2020; Criminal Justice Joint Inspectorates, 2021). This population frequently represents those from marginalised circumstances and are rarely given the opportunity to participate meaningfully in the services they are involved in. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of the young people serving orders with the YOS during Covid19 lockdowns and requirements. This paper outlines a creative methodology and method used to uncover the experiences and perceptions of young people undergoing an order within a YOS during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The arts-based approach entailed a novel and creative method using a lyric artist to engage with young people through a virtual platform, supporting them to create lyrics about their experiences of the YOS during this time.


The pains and gains of COVID-19: challenges to child first justice in the pandemic

AUTHOR(S)
Kathy Hampson; Stephen Case; Ross Little

Published: February 2022   Journal: Youth Justice
The global COVID-19 pandemic has particularly affected justice-involved children. Youth justice policy changes and innovations have assisted communication and engagement with these vulnerable children during unprecedented times, while attempting to limit risks of contagion and criminalisation – all central tenets of the ‘Child First’ guiding principle for the Youth Justice System of England and Wales. While some changes have enhanced the experiences of some justice-involved children (gains), others have disproportionately disadvantaged justice-involved children in court, community and custody contexts (pains), increasing criminalisation, disengagement and anxiety. These pains of COVID-19 have effectively eroded the rights of this already-vulnerable group of children.
An exploratory study of COVID-19’s impact on psychological distress and antisocial behavior among justice-involved

AUTHOR(S)
Joan A. Reid; Tiffany Chenneville; Sarah M. Gardy (et al.)

Published: November 2021   Journal: Crime & Delinquency
Little is known about how justice-involved youth are coping with stress related to COVID-19. This study examined changes in psychological distress and antisocial behavior indicators among 557 youths on probation who completed two assessments during pre-COVID-19 conditions and two assessments during post-COVID-19 conditions. Drawing from Agnew’s General Strain Theory, the study used multivariate latent growth models to examine: (a) changes in psychological distress and antisocial behavior over time, (b) the associations of the changes, and (c) differences across sex, race, and ethnicity regarding changes in psychological distress.
Detention of children in the time of COVID-19
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: November 2021
When the pandemic was declared in April last year, UNICEF issued a global call for the immediate and safe release of children from detention, recognizing that they were at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 in confined and overcrowded spaces. This report, Detention of children in the time of COVID, highlights the historic number of children released from detention in response to COVID-19 pandemic, and discusses how these results and related challenges offer a chance to rethink approaches, release more children, end the detention of children and build on these results for wider justice reforms for children.
COVID-19 and juvenile probation: a qualitative examination of emergent challenges and useful strategies

AUTHOR(S)
Ashley Lockwood; Jill Viglione; Jennifer H. Peck

Published: October 2021   Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior
The emergence of COVID-19 placed immediate pressure on the juvenile justice system to adapt to changes in case processing and decision-making practices. Juvenile probation agencies were tasked with quickly altering their policies and practice to abide by local public health measures. As probation supervision is the most common disposition in the juvenile justice system, there is both an empirical and practical need to understand the impact that COVID-19 has on a variety of issues surrounding the supervision and provision of services for juveniles. Using self-report survey data from juvenile probation directors across the United States, the current study examines (a) the biggest challenges faced by juvenile probation agencies during the pandemic, (b) the strategies implemented in response to these challenges, and (c) the most pressing issues currently facing the field of juvenile community corrections. Results have the potential to inform future agency decision-making when adjusting juvenile probation policy and practice.
Reimagining youth justice: how the dual crises of COVID-19 and racial injustice inform judicial policymaking and reform

AUTHOR(S)
Alysha Gagnon; Samahria Alpern

Published: July 2021   Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic and the rejuvenated movement for racial justice in 2020 have presented an opportunity to reimagine the roles, practices, and policies of juvenile and family court systems actors. In order to capture contemporary ideas about judicial practice and policy reforms, semi-structured interviews were conducted with Hon. Edwina Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Office of Justice Initiatives in New York State, and Hon. Steven Teske, Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court of Clayton County, Georgia. These interviews yielded several recommendations for judicial reform in youth justice (e.g., implement court-wide procedural justice practices, improve accessibility using technology). These recommendations can be used by systems actors across the country, particularly those interested in adapting their courtroom practices for a post-pandemic world.
“Zooming In” on children’s rights during a pandemic: technology, child justice and Covid-19

AUTHOR(S)
Nessa Lynch; Ursula Kilkelly

Published: June 2021   Journal: The International Journal of Children's Rights
The implementation of public health measures in response to the covid-19 pandemic has impacted heavily on the operation of child justice systems and places of detention, creating new challenges in the safeguarding and implementation of children’s rights. Yet, it has also been a time of innovation, particularly in the use of technology. Using case studies from Ireland and Aotearoa New Zealand, we discuss how technology has been used to maintain the balance between restrictive yet necessary public health measures and the operation of the child justice system. Examples include remote participation in remand hearings and trial and the use of “virtual visits” for children in detention.
The impact of COVID-19 on children's access to justice
Institution: *UNICEF
Published: January 2021

When children encounter the justice system – as alleged offenders, victims, witnesses or as parties to civil or administrative matters – they are entitled to specialized processes and procedures that are consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international standards. Yet many justice systems are neither child-friendly nor gender-sensitive and often fail to meet the needs or uphold the rights of all children. Evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic – along with previous infectious disease outbreaks – suggests that existing child protection violations are exacerbated, and new risks emerge, in times of crisis. In addition to the adverse impacts of detention and incarceration on their well-being, children risk contracting the virus when detained in confined and overcrowded spaces. They are also more vulnerable to neglect and abuse, especially if staffing levels or care are undermined by the pandemic or containment measures.

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UNICEF Innocenti's Children and COVID-19 Library is a database collecting research from around the world on COVID-19 and its impacts on children and adolescents.

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Read the latest quarterly digest on children and disabilities.

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The first digest covers children and youth mental health under COVID-19.

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COVID-19 & Children: Rapid Research Response

UNICEF Innocenti is mobilizing a rapid research response in line with UNICEF’s global response to the COVID-19 crisis. The initiatives we’ve begun will provide the broad range of evidence needed to inform our work to scale up rapid assessment, develop urgent mitigating strategies in programming and advocacy, and preparation of interventions to respond to the medium and longer-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The research projects cover a rapid review of evidence, education analysis, and social and economic policies.