Managing COVID-19 in Juvenile Justice Settings: Unique Considerations



OCTOBER 22, 2020

9 am PDT  ǀ  10 am MDT  ǀ   11 Am CDT  ǀ   12 pm EDT

Presented by Laura Benjamins, MD, MPH, Rebecca Beyda, MD, and Kimberly Richter, MS, LPC-S
Teens with masks

Duration: 1.0 hour

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced significant changes to the juvenile justice system. Many facilities were able to decrease the number of detained youth during this time. However, for the youth that remained, facilities had to navigate efforts to manage the spread of COVID-19 while mitigating possible detrimental effects from these measures. The presentations will cover:

  • Policies enacted for COVID-19 screening, testing, and infection control including recommendations for best practices and challenges encountered.
  • Strategies employed to educate youth and staff to address concerns regarding the pandemic.
  • Measures taken to address mental health outcomes. 

We will conclude with a discussion on how the pandemic has served as a catalyst to reimagine juvenile justice.

Continuing Education Credit

1.0 hour of credit is available (ACCME, ANCC, APA, CCHP, ADA)

Educational Objectives

  • Outline best practices for COVID-19 screening and management in juvenile justice settings
  • Discuss measures to address common concerns around COVID-19 for confined youth, including service delivery
  • Share strategies to mitigate mental health risks during the COVID-19 pandemic

About the Presenters

Laura Benjamins, MD, MPH, is a professor in pediatrics at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School, Houston, where she also directs the MD/MPH dual degree program. She has worked with juvenile justice-involved youth for the past 16 years and has been the medical director for Harris County Juvenile Probation since 2011. Dr. Benjamins also has clinics for adolescents living with HIV and is credentialed as an HIV provider through the American Academy of HIV Medicine. Her research interests include sexually transmitted infections and reproductive health, with a focus on HIV and HPV.

Rebecca Beyda, MD, is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UT McGovern Medical School where she serves as the Adolescent Medicine Fellowship Director. Her research and clinical interests include reproductive health care and youth involved in the juvenile justice system. She is active in the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and is currently the juvenile justice special interest group co-chair and president of the Texas SAHM Regional Chapter.

Kimberly Richter, MS, LPC-S, is the Serious Offender Program supervisor at the Harris County Leadership Academy of the Harris County Juvenile Probation Department, where she oversees the development, coordination, and administration of mental health services and programming at the department’s residential facilities. Ms. Richter has presented at the national, state, and local levels on the topics of clinical psychology, correctional mental health, child development, crisis, and trauma interventions.